Caribbean cruise commission needed

Officials of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association have called for a region-wide cruise commission that would require pre-application of ships wishing to visit the region.

Speaking at the Caribbean Marketplace conference in Puerto Rico, CHTA president Peter J. Odle said that it was vital to establish, centralise and standardise such a process.

‘If you wish to cruise in the Caribbean you [would] make an application with the Caribbean Cruise Commission, as you do for any air transportation licensing body of any country you wish to fly into.

‘[The idea is to] have one central Caribbean cruise commission that would set the rules, regulations and tariffs for cruising in the Caribbean. We call for legislation to be put in place to create that body and create uniformity in the cruise industry across the Caribbean,’ he said.

The concept of a cruise commission had been firs mooted several years ago. A paper had been written during the late 1990s by then Jamaican Ambassador, Ken Rattray, dealing with such a prospect CHTA had looked again at the late Mr. Rattray’s idea and brought it back to the table, said Mr. Odle.

‘We are calling for it to bring some equity to land tourism and cruise tourism,’ explained the CHTA president.