- Resumption of the cruise industry in Jamaica is dependent on higher vaccination levels of the population.
- Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett made the announcement as keynote speaker at JMMB’s webinar.
- Bartlett said the country’s cruise partners are now champing at the bit to come back into Caribbean waters.
The Minister made the declaration during JMMB’s “Thought Leadership Webinar: recently, where he was the keynote speaker.
“Our cruise partners are now champing at the bit to come back into Caribbean waters. However, the extent of our own preparedness, from a COVID-19 management point of view, will determine how fast they actually come in. Vaccination is of course the big elephant in the room and for most of us in the region, we are at very low vaccination levels. We need to build that out and to put ourselves in a position to see highly vaccinated people and for them to move around seamlessly,” expressed Bartlett.
The Minister was adamant that based on current forecasts, the island will not see the full return of cruise until late August to October of 2021.
“I think that August to October in that three-month window will be when you will see a full resumption of cruise. We may see one or two smaller vessels coming in, perhaps in August. However, my take on the matter is October seems to me the outer month for us to see cruise coming back to the region. If we don’t get it back in that time, we are going to be in trouble,” said the Minister.
The Ministry of Tourism has been actively working for the return of cruise this summer, utilizing a collaborative approach that will bring greater value for passengers, cruise lines and Destination Jamaica.
Several areas have been examined in discussions with the island’s cruise partners, including more meaningful linkages, homeporting, multiple calls, increased jobs, increased value to local brands and improving the passenger experience, which should translate into higher spend per passenger.