Royal Caribbean has announced a significant investment to expand its private island in the Bahamas.
The enhancements to CocoCay island include a pier to serve its Oasis-class ships and new opportunities for vendors and craftsmen to promote the culture of the Bahamas to visitors.
Royal Caribbean chief executive and president, Michael Bayley, attended a signing ceremony with prime minister of the Bahamas, Perry Christie, as the line also pledged to develop training programmes for local students to work on the ships.
Christie said: “Royal Caribbean has been a long-standing partner of the islands of the Bahamas and their plans to significantly increase tourism to our country as well as to develop the talent of our youth and expand employment opportunities for Bahamians is commendable.”
Royal Caribbean has pledged to grow the number of Bahamian nationals employed by the cruise line in the next five years.
In addition, they have joint ownership of the Grand Bahamas shipyard in Freeport where maintenance of its ships take place.
Bayley said: “Tourism is an important engine of growth for the economy of destinations in the Caribbean and the Bahamas, and we are excited to bring more visitors on our newest and most innovative ships to this popular holiday spot.
“Our commitment to The Bahamas is multifold. It is our responsibility to contribute to the country’s economic diversity, to its employment base and the training of Bahamian youth as well as the protection of the environment.
“We are excited about the continued growth of tourism in the Bahamas, and look forward to doing our part to keep that growth and progress moving along in the years to come.”
Royal Caribbean currently brings 1.7 million visitors a year to The Bahamas, with plans to significantly expand that number in the next decade as they add capacity in the region.