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BAHAMAS: PM, Tourism Officials, Businesses Celebrate Royal Caribbean’s Historic Homeporting, 1st Cruise Sailing from Port of Nassau



Nassau, Bahamas, June 12, 2021 – With bands playing, national anthems ringing out and the pulsations of Junkanoo, Bahamian leaders, businesses and stakeholders celebrated a long-awaited historic milestone June 12 as more than 1,000 passengers boarded Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas ready to set sail from its embarkation port of Nassau for the first time in the cruise line’s history and a first for The Bahamas.

Adventure of the Seas Home-porting Launch in Nassau Bahamas on Saturday June 12, 2021

Prime Minister Hubert A Minnis, Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Travis Robinson, Royal Caribbean Vice President of Government Relations Russell Benford and others participated in what a guest described as “the first jubilant ceremony in nearly 16 months in downtown Nassau” and what the Director General called “a truly momentous occasion.”

Limited attendance to comply with COVID restrictions did not dampen the spirit of the ceremony held in Pompey Square.

“It has been a long and challenging period for our country and for the entire world, including the global tourism industry and the cruising sector,” said the prime minister, calling cruising “an essential economic driver for our small country.”

He noted that Royal Caribbean was delivering record numbers of visitors to The Bahamas prior to the pandemic that forced a total shutdown of the industry. Now, with the first ship set to sail from its new homeport of Nassau and the hotels buzzing with life as passengers flew in before embarking on their cruise, the prime minister called it “the best of both worlds” as tourism officials pointed to the historic significance.   

“Today, this ceremony marks a turning point in the history of cruising in The Bahamas as a Nassau port of call becomes a homeport for Royal Caribbean,” said Ms. Jibrilu, describing the cruise line’s journey to return to sailing after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown of cruising around the world. Nassau, said Ms. Jibrilu, was an immediately attractive candidate given proximity to America’s cruise capital of South Florida, airlift options and accommodations capacity.

“The proposition for homeporting put forward by Royal Caribbean was immediately embraced by the Ministry of Tourism,” she explained. “We, the Ministry of Tourism and the people of The Bahamas welcome back Royal Caribbean with open arms to rediscover once again why it’s better in The Bahamas.”

For the business community, homeporting is not just better in The Bahamas – it’s better for The Bahamas. A number of Bahamian wholesalers and retailers are reaping the benefits of provisioning the ship. When sailing at full capacity, the vessel carries 3,800 passengers plus crew.

As Royal Caribbean begins its return to sail, ships are sailing with new protocols in place, including limited capacity until further notice.

But, according to Benford pent-up demand is driving strong bookings. He noted that Royal Caribbean’s first foreign port of call was Nassau, some 52 years ago.  

“We have always been committed to building on our relationship with The Bahamas and with the help of the Minister of Tourism, the Director General and their terrific, energetic team who worked with us every step of the way, we are able to stand here today and celebrate the inaugural homeport sailing of Adventure of the Seas in Nassau,” he said.

“What does homeporting mean? Already our partners are telling us they see a difference. With a limited guest capacity of about 25% of normal, we have about 1,000 guests onboard. One hotel told us they had 500+ reservations as a result. Bookings are up for Bahamasair and more flights have been added. NAD officials report an uptick in visitor arrivals and reservations in the coming weeks for both arrivals and departures.

“And because we are provisioning the ship in The Bahamas, we have already signed contracts with a number of food, beverage and sundry wholesalers and distributors including one of my favorite drinks, Switcha which will now be available for consumption and for sale on the ship.

Adventure of the Seas Home-porting Launch in Nassau Bahamas on Saturday June 12, 2021

“At Royal Caribbean, we are always searching for new and innovative ways to help grow the economy in the destinations we visit.

“Homeporting provided an ideal opportunity. We held two workshops with the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation in Nassau and the Grand Bahama Chamber to share available opportunities for supplying the ships with food and beverage or our guests with tours and excursions. More than 620 people participated and we had over 100 follow-up inquiries.

“That translated into real business with dollars staying in The Bahamas. 

“We also provided the Small Business Development Centre with a $250,000 grant to assist small to medium-sized businesses that could benefit from homeporting and other projects we have in The Bahamas.

“Additionally, we continue to make upgrades to our hugely popular private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Berry Islands where we have invested more than $155 million,” he said. “We really look forward to strengthening our relationships with the many stakeholders in Nassau and hope that it will enhance the overall visitor experience, increase debarkation rates and lead to an increase in visitor spend.”

Adventure of the Seas will depart Nassau every Saturday throughout the summer on a seven-day cruise that includes calls to Perfect Day@Coco Cay, Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Bahama where it will do major provisioning and fueling before returning to Nassau.

Bahamas News

The Bahamas Achieves Unprecedented Tourism Success with Record-Breaking Eight Million Visitors



#NASSAU, Bahamas (December 4, 2023) – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is proud to announce a historic achievement in tourism, with the country welcoming a record-breaking eight million annual visitors this year. This remarkable success stands as a testament to the unified efforts, strategic planning, and visionary initiatives championed not only by the Ministry of Tourism but strengthened by the invaluable support of key stakeholders like the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion, The Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board and The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association.

The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism shared his optimism, stating, “The Bahamas has long been a sought-after destination, and reaching eight million visitors is a milestone that reflects the collective dedication of our tourism professionals nationwide. Our success lies not just in our islands’ allure but in the strategic endeavours we have embraced. As we celebrate this achievement, we are equally focused on shaping a future that ensures sustained year-over-year growth and enhances the visitor experience.”

Sales and marketing strategies have been instrumental in positioning The Bahamas as a premier travel destination. The Ministry of Tourism reached global audiences through targeted campaigns utilizing digital marketing, social media, and strategic partnerships. These efforts, combined with creative and impactful advertising initiatives, showcased the diverse attractions and unique experiences that continue to make The Bahamas a must-visit destination.

The government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and welcoming travel environment has fostered positive relations with industry partners. Innovative cruise strategies, accompanied by increased airlift, have significantly contributed to the surge in visitor numbers. Also collaborations with major cruise lines, the development of new cruise ports, and the introduction of new shore excursions have enhanced the overall travel experience.

Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism, remarked, “This historic milestone in visitor arrivals is a clear indicator of the unique charm and richness of our 16-island destination. Our unwavering dedication to offering diverse, authentic experiences underlines our strategy for Brand Bahamas. We ensure every traveler’s journey is not just a visit, but an unforgettable, enriching experience that beckons a return to our beautiful shores.”

Crucially, the support and collaboration of tourism stakeholders, promotion boards and hotel partners have played a vital role in this success. DPM Cooper underscored the importance of this collaboration, stating, “Our partners have been instrumental in achieving this milestone. Their continued collaboration is key to our sustained success, and together, we will shape the future of Bahamian tourism and the Bahamian economy.”

As The Bahamas celebrates this unprecedented achievement, the Ministry of Tourism looks ahead, developing future strategies to ensure sustained growth in visitor arrivals and a continued positive trajectory for the tourism industry.


Release:  Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

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Bahamas News

Stunning Space Opened for Turks & Caicos in Nassau



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The golden ribbon is cut and the Nassau-based Turks & Caicos diaspora office is officially unveiled. The opening ceremony, held at the new office, was attended by high-level delegates including Washington Misick, TCI Premier.

“I’m very proud and very privileged to be able to stand here and speak to you and I would especially like to thank someone who has become a friend in the person of the honorable Prime Minister of The Bahamas,” he said.

Bahamian support was critical in the venture, which sprung up as an answer to the TCIs desperate employment and immigration crisis. With hundreds of vacancies open across the public and private sector, and no one to fill them, the country needed more people but immigration rates were already far too high, posing a risk of disenfranchisement of islanders.

In order to fix both issues the government introduced a migration scheme allowing third-generation islanders with bloodline connections to claim citizenship. They quickly partnered with The Bahamas, one of the closest and the largest parts of its diaspora

Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas was on hand while the Premier spoke and also brought remarks. The strong bond between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas was emphasized by Davis, as he spoke

“The Turks and Caicos’s islands were part of the Bahamas, they even had a representative in our parliament. We were one nation,” he said.

Bahamian parliament has been supportive of the diaspora plan, which could see TCI-Bahamians migrating away from the Bahamas and into the Turks and Caicos, since its inception in early 2023.

The colors of the Turks and Caicos islands were on proud display in the newly office. Attendees were allowed to tour the building during the Grand Opening on November 28th.

Bright white and modern meeting areas with turquoise accents and TCI logos will be the backdrop for immigration negotiations

Also present at the event, a strong proponent of the grafting in third generation plan, Immigration Minister Arlington Musgrove, and Deputy Governor Anya Williams. The officials have now concretized a journey they started together in February when the idea of a Diaspora office was announced.

The office is the first of its kind established by the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is located on the 2nd Floor of The Bahamas Financial Center, Shirley and Charlotte Streets.

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Bahamas News

Turks & Caicos Islands Government Opens Diaspora Office in Nassau



#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Government earlier this week proudly inaugurated the Turks and Caicos Diaspora Office in Nassau, New Providence in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, Premier Hon. Charles Washington Misick and the Deputy Governor of TCI, Her Excellency Anya Williams.

Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams expressed her sincere appreciation to The Bahamas government for the outstanding collaboration between the two countries, particularly in national security.  She asserted, “The opening of this office here in The Bahamas will undoubtedly strengthen our ties with The Bahamas and create opportunities for even greater partnerships that will benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Premier Misick emphasized that The Bahamas and TCI have always had a strong bond, and the benefits of this relationship have been felt for many years.  He declared, “The establishment of a Diaspora of the Turks and Caicos Islands Office in The Bahamas is a crucial initiative that will restore links with the diaspora and open up a productive line of communication to gauge interest in employment opportunities, investment and contributing to the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.” He further added: “Whether in national security operations, education (many of our students have studied here), health care, or even cultural enthusiasts who partake in junkanoo, we must continue to learn and lean on each other.

Minister of Immigration and Border Force Hon. Arlington Musgrove, who initially led the establishment of the office, stated: “This evening signifies a significant and timely accomplishment in the long history of our two nations.  Progressive relationship building is the term I use to describe the establishment of this office today.   Beyond a diaspora office, we hope to foster closer ties through business, investment, education, and training to benefit our two countries.  I am proud of my government taking this bold, progressive step and proud of the vision of our Premier, who has worked so assiduously to make this evening a reality.”

The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas brought remarks on the evening and joined the other dignitaries for the ribbon cutting.

The office is a part of the government’s broader diaspora policy, which aims to aid in the creation of programs to capture, connect and harness contributions and connection from the TCI citizens residing outside of the TCI, increase the representation of the number of persons in the population with connection and roots in the TCI and lastly, to provide opportunity and incentive for eligible members of the diaspora to invest and have access to investment and philanthropic opportunities in the TCI.

The office is now open at The Bahamas Financial Centre.  Two Liaison Officers have been appointed; Canon Curtis Robinson is based in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and A. Vernay Mills is based in Nassau, New Providence.

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