April 18th, 2015
The Caribbean maintains its position as the most popular cruise destination in the world, capturing more than 40 percent of all the passengers, despite the build up in the Mediterranean, South America and Australia.
Caribbean port authorities and tourism officials have taken up the challenge by upgrading their facilities and building new ports to accommodate the largest of the new ships.
Across the Caribbean, destinations are responding to industry growth with improved and expanded infrastructure, although as one port official told Cruise Industry News, “cruise lines must remember that they (the island) are not Dubai.”
And that may be happening. Barbados is in the final stages of a bid for the expansion and redevelopment of its cruise pier. There are also plans to build new piers in St. Kitts and Nevis, Curacao and Aruba. Other upgrades are underway in Guadeloupe, Martinique, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
2010 broke both cruise passenger records and overall tourist arrivals in the Caribbean. With more ships, the trend continues up as Cruise Industry News estimates a record-breaking 7.5 million passengers in the region for the calendar year 2011, up 1.4 percent from last year. The bulk of the cruise business in the Caribbean occurs during just four months, which also raises the level of competition (and congestion) among the islands.
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