CASTRIES, St. Lucia, October 22, 2019 (CMC) – US-based Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), today, with the St. Lucia government, to form a joint venture that will manage the existing cruise pier and terminal facilities on the Caribbean island.
As part of the MOU that was signed in Puerto Rico, the three parties will establish a long-term concession agreement, to formalize the terms and responsibilities for the joint venture to manage and operate the current cruise pier and terminal facilities at the Port of Castries.
Additionally, the joint venture will design, finance, construct and operate a new cruise port in Vieux Fort, on the southern part of the island, that will be able to accommodate the latest and most innovative ships in the cruise industry.
Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, described the signing of the agreement as “historic” and “a major step towards enhancing Saint Lucia’s tourism product”.
“St. Lucia has had record-breaking cruise arrivals over the past few years, and we thank our partners, Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean, for their continued confidence in our amazing destination.
“It is essential that we continue to diversify what we have to offer, grow our brand and ensure that different sectors in our island’s economy benefit from the growth in cruise tourism, and that Saint Lucians can benefit from the opportunities, which arise from the increased numbers, which means we have to improve our capacity.
“This signing is historic, as this project will have a major impact on the sustainability of the cruise sector and the reach of cruise tourism to the south of the island,” Chastanet said, explaining that “this will also mean employment at several phases of the project, the expansion of existing businesses and the formation of new enterprises”.
“We look forward to this partnership, as this marks a new day and a significant achievement for our government, for the people of the south of Saint Lucia and for our island, as a whole,” he added.
The Senior Vice-president of Global Port and Destination for Carnival Corporation, Giora Israel, said “this is an exciting day for guests, who already love the beauty and deep culture of St. Lucia and an important step in sustaining cruise tourism growth for the island.
“We look forward to working, closely, with our JV partners to give cruise passengers great experiences when visiting the island. With the new development project, St. Lucia will be very well-positioned for jobs and significant economic impact for years to come.”
President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Caribbean, Michael Bayley, said the cruise market is the fastest growing sector of tourism and, in the next decade, cruising in the Caribbean region is anticipated to increase by 40 percent.
“We are excited to partner with the government of Saint Lucia to ensure that the destination directly benefits from that growth, while giving more guests the opportunity to visit this unique gem in the Caribbean,” he siad.
Together, the cruise line brands of Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises currently account for 75 percent of all cruise ship deployment to St. Lucia, according to a statement released, here.