BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados’ winter cruise season statistics for 2023/2024 have surpassed those for the 2022/2023 period.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, disclosed this during Virgin Voyages’ Valiant Lady inaugural welcome ceremony on Wednesday.
Edghill noted that a few weeks ago he shared the “promising” projected figures for the 2023/2024 season, which were 392 cruise calls, with an estimated 715, 527 cruise passengers. He said when compared to last season’s statistics, which were 358 calls, with 608,269 cruise passengers, “this translates to a projected 18 per cent increase year on year”.
“We are only halfway through the season, but I am pleased to update you that this winter season is performing well thus far, as predicted. Our half-term reports from October to December 2023 indicate that we have welcomed a total of 131 calls, with 66 of these calls homeporting in Barbados, and an average occupancy rate of 96 per cent.
“From these calls, we have welcomed a total of 227,548 cruise passengers to the island. When we compare this data to figures from last winter 2022/2023 season for the same period October to December 2022, we are seeing an increase in cruise calls of 11 per cent, and a subsequent increase in cruise passengers of 26 per cent, year on year,” Gooding-Edghill reported.
He added that the steady recovery of the sector post the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the “hard work” of those in the industry whose efforts help to ensure that Barbados’ cruise sector can reach pre-pandemic levels.
“I commend the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., the Barbados Port Inc., the port agents, travel agents, tour and taxi operators, attractions providers and all those who work assiduously to ensure that Barbados’ cruise tourism product remains in high demand,” the Tourism minister said.
The Tourism Minister anlso indicated that the Ministry would continue to seek out new opportunities and new ways of doing business to make a better tourism experience for its partners and visitors.