Barbados proves to be a 'reliable' partner to the cruise industry
Minister Kerrie Symmonds (FILE)
Thousands of cruise ship crew are sailing to Barbados to pick up their repatriation flights successfully.
Once Barbados could manage the health risk during this COVID-19 pandemic and safely provide aid, the answer has been 'yes' to help workers in the tourism industry, who have been trapped onboard various international cruise liners, to get home.
In the wake of the arrival of the second largest ship in the Royal Caribbean Cruise fleet - the Harmony of the Seas, earlier this week, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Kerrie Symmonds told Loop News:
"This is just another part of the process of repatriating stranded crewmen onboard vessels which have for no logical reasons been denied entry to other ports across the region and the world. While others have flinched and denied even their own citizens, Barbados has successfully managed this process of repatriation assistance on several occasions now and has, therefore, assisted thousands of crewmen from several lines and dozens of countries."
There has been a slew of rescue flights and repatriation flights already to the US, Canada and England, "all of this has taken place smoothly and efficiently and with no significant problems."
Post-COVID-19, Symmonds said that all Barbados has done in the sector should not go unnoticed on a global scale.
"Our Island in the process has continued to grow in the estimation of the several cruise lines around the world as being a dedicated, well-managed and coordinated country and as a reliable partner and ally of the international cruise industry."
Part of the Mia Mottley-led Administration navigation these unprecedented times and waters, he shared: "At a personal level, I take a significant degree of pride and pleasure in the support that our Prime Minister has given to this matter and to the leadership that Barbados has been able to demonstrate to the world."
And recognising that the frontline workers at the ports of entry have made these Air-to-Sea transfers possible, he added:
"I would also wish to congratulate all the members of staff of the Bridgetown Port, Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) and of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy, Port Health, Customs and Immigration as well as our private sector agencies involved in the cruise and ground transportation business for all the excellent service that they have rendered."