|Letter: ‘The Caribbean, where one island is pretty much like another’?|
|Published on Thursday, May 24, 2007||Email To Friend Print Version|
Carried today in the informative travel industry website TravelMole is an article headlined ‘No end to growth of cruise sector’.
There are a number of interesting comments made by leading cruise professionals, including PSA director Bill Gibbons who quoted recent consumer research data which showed that ‘while 11% of UK residents had been on a cruise in the last five years, 33% said they would be taking one in the next five’.
But the remarks that caught my main attention were made by MSC Cruises USA President and Chief Executive Rick Sasso, while pointing out that ‘during every decade since the 1970’s, the North American cruise industry had been warned that it was building too many ships but every time the ships had been filled – and at a profit to the cruise lines’.
Now the crunch!
He said, ‘We managed to do this despite the limitations of our main cruise destination – the Caribbean, where one island is pretty much like another.’
He added, ‘In Europe, the destinations have so much more to offer so it is going to be a much easier sell especially with the massive amount of promotional dollars that are going to be spent by cruise lines there.’
Does the head of a major cruise ship company really think ‘one island is pretty much like another’?
I would love to hear a response from Mr Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation to this statement.
And the ‘massive amount of promotional dollars’ the cruise lines are spending in Europe!
What are they spending in their largest market, the Caribbean?