US-based cruise operator Royal Caribbean has predicted that its Caribbean cruise tourism business will grow by 50% in 2030, with an overall economic benefit of cruise reaching USD 6 billion.
In a recent Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) outlook forum, the cruise line’s president and CEO Michael Bayley said there’s great demand for innovative experiences, which the cruise line is willing to help develop. He also noted that as the region continues to grow in popularity among cruisers (eight of the top 10 cruise destinations worldwide are in the Caribbean), now is the time to prepare for further increases in cruise passenger numbers.
“Was, is, will always be”
Bayley commented: “The Caribbean was, is, will always be, the number one cruise destination in the world. There are considerations that we need to take into account in terms of some of the destinations’ ability to absorb the growth that is coming – in some places the growth is perhaps already at a critical mass – but we need to find a way to accommodate the growth that is inevitably coming to cruise tourism in the Caribbean.”
According to the CEO, the perfect example of a collaboration that benefits both the destination and the cruise line is the success of the cruise line’s recent USD 250 million private island destination in the Bahamas known as Perfect Day at CocoCay.
Bayley added: “Once we put this product into the market in the US and globally, our phones went crazy. The demand we have seen for our ships and our products that go to Cococay has been amazing.
“There is a lot of demand for these products and if we can figure out how to collaborate together to create these experiences, they don’t always have to have this shape and form, they can be other types of experiences.”
“We really believe there is a huge opportunity”
“As we evolve in terms of our ship design and experiences and what we are creating for our customers we really believe there is a huge opportunity to take all that knowledge and transfer it into the destinations in a very meaningful way,” concluded Bayley.