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The cruise industry remains committed to both the recovery of Grand Bahama and Abaco and bringing more guests to the unaffected majority of the Bahamas.
Just a month after the historic event, Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the trade association that represents the mutual interests between the cruise industry and Caribbean and Latin American destinations and stakeholders, and its Member Lines, which operate more than 95 percent of the global ocean cruising capacity, have already provided and/or raised $8 million in donation pledges, more than 10 million pounds of food and supplies, 20,000 meals a day, hundreds of millions of dollars in accelerated investment plans and hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars focused on educating that most of The Bahamas is open, including 14 of its most-visited islands that are welcoming guests every day, and the best way consumers can help is to visit.
“Though we still mourn for all those impacted in Abaco and Grand Bahama, it is humbling and heartwarming to see our Member Lines’ enormous effort to not only provide the necessary relief, but also work with those in the destination toward sustainable recovery,” said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. “On behalf of FCCA, we are honored to help support that recovery in any way we can, and currently one of the best things any of us can do is visit The Bahamas, as nearly half of its GDP relies on tourism, and broadcast the message that most of its islands are open and welcoming guests every day.”
FCCA Member Lines have already donated and/or raised $8 million in relief efforts for The Bahamas, while also launching efforts to collect and provide support, resulting in more than 10 million pounds of food and supplies – filling over 250 shipping containers – by Carnival Corporation; 20,000 meals per day, as well as water, medical supplies, generators, and a team of specially trained employees and volunteers to assist with logistics and food and beverage efforts by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; 400 pallets of humanitarian aid – along with 300 qualified volunteer and 150 Bahamians – on a single relief mission by Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line; MSC Group using its cargo and cruise resources to help, with a focus on providing semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing; and Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are also using their cruise ships to deliver supplies and support.
Additionally, FCCA Member Lines have sent high-level delegations to work directly toward both providing the most impactful relief and building toward sustainable recovery, while also reaffirming and accelerating investment projects that represent $455 million by Carnival Corporation and RCCL.
FCCA Member Lines also worked with the destination to relaunch cruise tourism and reinject its economic benefit as soon as possible, with cruise tourism calculated to have generated $405.75 million, in addition to 9,004 jobs paying $155.71 million in wage income, in The Bahamas during the 2017-18 cruise season and one average cruise call to the destination representing more than $650,000 in local economic benefits.
FCCA included The Bahamas in its award-winning, multi-faceted marketing campaign, Caribbean Is Open / Caribbean for Everyone, which began in September 2017 following Hurricanes Irma and Maria and generated more than 5.77 billion impressions, while showing a measurable improvement in Caribbean cruise bookings, between Oct. 2, 2017 – Oct. 28, 2018.
For initiatives tied to The Bahamas, focused on educating that most of The Bahamas is open, including 14 of its most-visited islands that are welcoming guests every day, and the best way consumers can help is to visit, as of Oct. 11, the efforts have already generated an audience of 78,656,435; 490 media placements; and promoted content with 13,873 clicks, 17,987 engagements and 150,527 video views with 59,357 minutes viewed, on track for more than 200,000 views by the end of October on social media alone.
Additionally, FCCA has remained in constant contact with The Bahamas, while leveraging its resources throughout the industry to help the destination and its people in any way possible, including assisting to coordinate relief efforts and meetings, as well as providing numerous ways for Bahamian locals to further capitalize on the cruise industry’s economic potential.
Many of those opportunities and discussions will be engaged at the upcoming FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, the largest and only official cruise conference and trade show in the Caribbean. With more than 150 high-level executives, including a record number of chairmen and above, from FCCA Member Lines on hand for the series of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities from Oct. 21-25, the #BahamasStrong delegation will have the chance to work directly with the cruise industry, and FCCA has coordinated specialized meetings and events for the delegation.