The Cable

(Dominica News Online):  Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has said he will be traveling to Miami next week as his government attempts to convince Carnival Cruise Lines to return to Dominica.

That cruise line ended its 21 year relationship with Dominica in 2010, citing the increase in fuel prices as the main reason.

But speaking on state-owned DBS Radio on Thursday morning, the prime minister said there are plans to negotiate with the cruise line. “We are going back to see if we can negotiate with them because we appreciate and understand the importance of the cruise business to many  Domincans who rely on the ships coming to Dominica for survival,” he stated.

He said he will be going to Miami to meet with the owner of the cruise line to do just that.  “I am traveling to Miami next week Tuesday to meet with the owner of Carnival Cruise Lines with a view to persuading him to bring back Carnival Cruise Line,” he said.

According to Skerrit, on average, the cruise line made 50 calls to the island bringing in an average of 157,000 visitors. “We have lost that, not because of non action on the behalf of the government but because at the end of the day is the bottom line that matters for any private sector investor. They were losing US$1.2-million – US$2-million because of the cost of fuel and other issues and they had to pull out,” he pointed out.

Earlier this week Chief Executive Officer of the Dominica Air and Sea Port Authority and Chairman of the Discover Dominica Authority, Benoit Bardouille, announced that Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will be making more frequent calls to Dominica during the next cruise season.

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