Barbados wins Destination of the Year for being a cruise safe haven
Harmony of the Seas docked in Barbados (FILE)
Of the three finalists in the Destination of the Year category of the 2020 Seatrade Cruise Awards, Barbados came out on top, winning the stellar award.
Congratulating the winners in this the 14th year of the Seatrade Cruise Awards and first ever virtual edition, Seatrade Cruise Group Director Mary Bond said that all of the winners were "deserving" of the accolades.
Video caption: Symphony of the Seas, largest cruise vessel in the world, docks in Barbados' Bridgetown Port.
She said that in 2020 they received a record 133 entries from across the globe and then the independent panel of judges were able to narrow down the entrants to the shortlist. The winners were announced by representatives from the sponsorship partners Oracle Hospitality - the main sponsor, and the individual award sponsors V Ships Leisure and CruiseBaltic.
In the Destination of the Year category, which can be awarded to any region, tourism body or association that made significant strides in promoting cruise tourism in the past 12 months, Barbados went up against St Kitts and Nevis and Cruise Copenhagen.
Video caption: Yong was happy to return to her home in the UK after almost seven months at sea without guests. Royal Caribbean repatriates crew via Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados (July 9)
Area VP, Global Cruise Sales, Oracle Hospitality, Ingo Soerensen announced Barbados as the winner and the narrator said:
"During the COVID-19 pandemic Barbados remained a place where homeporting cruise lines found a safe haven, warmth and hospitality. In addition, ships were able to collaborate with the Bridgetown Port and further destinations to repatriate crew."
Bond said that "This year the quality of nominations surpassed previous standards set" despite the challenges faced by tourism and travel in light of COVID-19.
Video caption: Mexicans repatriated from Barbados were grateful. They said a big 'Thank you Royal Caribbean'.