CHINA could well be a strategic partner in the development
of a Caribbean cruise line.
But Kerrie Symmonds, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Foreign Trade, believes that a 500-passenger vessel may be more adequate
than a 3 000- or 4 000-passenger mega ship.
“I rather believe that Barbados and the Caribbean are strategically
located in a position where we can bring a brand of excellence which
sees a vessel of about 500 passengers...,” he said.
This was among the issues discussed when vice-chairman
of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Yu
Ping, met with Symmonds at his office yesterday.
That discussion included the possibility of partnerships with China
to develop ownership in the region’s cruise tourism industry.
“The Caribbean controls 52 per cent of the
world’s cruise tourism business and feels it is time we have
some greater degree of physical ownership in the cruise tourism plant,”
He added that the cruise ship industry was important in the context
of the Caricom Single Market and Economy. “We need to ensure
that the region develops an access to the largest single market,”
Seem here at Villa Nova
Symmonds told the Press conference that issues surrounding
air services were also discussed.
“Barbados is the 64th country in the world to be granted approved
tourism destination status from the People’s Republic of China.
That means we have to place the necessary equipment on the ground
and in the air to ensure that we transport people from this populace
market to this region,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Minister of Industry
and International Business Development Dale Marshall later in the day
during the business conference.
Speaking during the opening of the afternoon session at Sherbourne Conference
Centre, Marshall said China could become a strategic partner in developing
Caribbean cruise lines. “They would not only bring adequate returns
to Chinese investors, but would also allow the Caribbean to reap greater
benefits from cruise tourism,” he said. Nation
than 50 investors drawn from various chambers of commerce across China
are loving every moment of their familiarisation tour of Barbados, and
yesterday, the treat continued at historic Harrison’s Cave in St
Just before spending half-hour touring the unique underground cave with
its stalagmites and stalactites, the Chinese, accompanied by Cabinet Minister
Kerrie Symmonds, were introduced to some delightful steel pan.