Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the maiden visit of the Carnival Horizon, is a “shot in the arm” for the island’s cruise sector.
Speaking to JIS News following the inaugural visit of Carnival’s newest and biggest ship in the company’s Vista luxury line, at the Ocho Rios Pier on October 2, Mr. Bartlett said the Carnival Horizon is just “a prelude” to what is to come, adding that “we have a commitment from the company that all their luxury vessels will be coming to Jamaica”.
The Minister said he is particularly pleased with the “trickle down” benefits he has seen as it relates to craft vendors, tour operators, shop owners, supermarkets and cab drivers.
“In coming inside the pier today, I was particularly pleased to see how well our craft traders were represented. I was also impressed with our bus drivers and the level of professionalism that was on display,” Mr. Bartlett added.
He said that with the commitment that the Carnival Horizon will join its sister vessel – the Carnival Vista – as regulars on the western Caribbean itinerary, “Jamaica now has a good chance of becoming the number-one cruise destination in the region”.
Mr. Bartlett noted that the Government, through the Port Authority of Jamaica, has been putting in all the required infrastructure to ensure that “we do everything that’s necessary to ensure that our cruise-line partners are satisfied”.
“Mickey Arison, Carnival’s owner, in committing the Horizon to our shores, is making good on an earlier promise that Jamaica is Carnival’s first call destination in the Caribbean,” the Minister said.
“We can all see the kind of reception that is here for the Horizon…the biggest of the Carnival Vista class and with almost 4,000 passengers,” he added.
For his part, Devon Mitchell, representing the Dunn’s River Craft Market in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, said he is happy that “ordinary Jamaicans” are made to feel a part of what “is happening with the tourism sector”.
“We are also excited about the visit of Carnival’s latest flagship vessel,” he told JIS News.
Source: JIS News