Jamaica is set to welcome at least 110 more Carnival cruises up to 2022, but only if it continues to work closely with the company on logistics and public health issues. The announcement was made by Arnold Donald, the CEO of Carnival Corporation, during a meeting on Tuesday with Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, local tourism officials, as well as other senior Carnival Corporation executives.
“Carnival is a critical partner for Jamaica’s tourism and wider economic recovery. We are seeing a welcome return of vessels with the recognition that Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors offer a safe environment for our visitors, tourism workers and the general population,” said Bartlett.
The welcome news comes despite slowing global travel demand triggered by the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and associated issues.
The meeting with Carnival forms part of a series of engagements with travel industry professionals in Jamaica’s key source markets, the United States and Canada, including major airlines and investors. This is being done to encourage more people to visit the destination in the coming weeks and months, as well as to encourage further investment in the local tourism industry. Carnival Corporation is the world’s largest cruise line.
The cruise sector was one of the worst hit by the pandemic, which forced it to close for more than a year. However, the sector has progressively resumed operations to several destinations, including Jamaica, thanks to extremely stringent health and safety measures, such as fully vaccinated passengers and staff.
“With the return of stopover visitor arrivals since June 2020, we have been seeing steady growth towards pre-COVID-19 levels and now that cruise is back, we are looking forward to significant growth in our numbers. All requirements have been put in place to meet both United States and Jamaica’s COVID-19 protocols in addition to passengers being limited to moving within the Resilient Corridors,” the minister noted.
“I must underscore that the cruises have to meet strict measures governing the restart of cruise shipping, requiring passengers over the age of 12 and crew to be fully vaccinated and for all passengers to provide evidence of negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of sailing. In the case of unvaccinated passengers, such as children, a PCR test is mandated, and all passengers are also screened and tested (antigen) on embarkation,” Bartlett stressed.