Wednesday 2 December, 2020

Ocho Rios reaping benefits of measures to boost cruise ship calls

Michael Belnavis at Ocho Rios criuse port

Michael Belnavis at Ocho Rios criuse port

Chairman of the National Cruise Council (NCC), Michael Belnavis, is crediting the boom in cruise ship
arrivals at Ocho Rios to an “all-in approach” by all stakeholders to maintain order in the town and
improve the environment for visitors.

He was speaking on Tuesday, December 3 following the inaugural visit of the MSC Meraviglia to the resort town with 7,200 passengers and crew members on board.

Belnavis, who is also the Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, said a lot of work was done to address harassment
and other concerns from cruise lines.

He said some of the main perpetrators have been recruited as tour guides or engaged in other
gainful capacities.

“The resort town is now reaping the benefits from the sacrifices we have made and the promise and
commitments from the cruise lines that once you clean up your act, you will have us as partners
forever,” Belnavis stated.

“The result is that we will be getting the most passengers of all the cruise destinations in the country
for the 2019-2020 cruise shipping season,” he stressed.

Belnavis said Ocho Rios recently won the ‘Best Resort Town’ award from the RJRGleaner
Communications Group, and was named the Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination at the World
Travel Awards 2019.

“Clearly we have been doing some great things in Ocho Rios as is evident from all the accolades we
have been receiving,” he added.

Belnavis noted, however, that “the game is far from over,” adding that there is still a lot of work to
be done to make Ocho Rios the cruise shipping capital of Jamaica.

MSC Cruise is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and brand market leader in Europe,
South America and Southern Africa.

For the period January to October 2019, Ocho Rios saw an 11.9 per cent increase in calls and 2.6 per
cent in passenger arrivals, representing a passenger count of 450,000.

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