With temperatures never going below 75 degrees or above 85 degree Fahrenheit, Barbados is now recognised as one of the most sought after holiday locations in the Caribbean.
Although only 21 miles long and 14 wide, this beautiful coral island has a proud history and culture that has become a huge success story since it gained independence from Britain in 1966.
It truly is a paradise waiting to be discovered and explored, with all three sides of the island being able to offer the visitor something special that fits in with their needs. There is the rugged East Coast intersected with small villages that has become a paradise for windsurfers. Whilst the West Coast has fantastic pink sandy beaches, warm blue seas and plenty of luxury to help you relax. The South Coast has warm white sands that have a wide variety of bars and other entertainment venues that the visitor will never tire of.
This increase in tourism and business growth is to be further boosted when work starts on the brand new $300 million cruise terminal in November 2012. The new terminal will be state of the art and most importantly will be able to finally separate off the cruise area from all cargo activities.
Royal Caribbean, Barbados Port and a Barbados based company SMI Infrastructure Solutions have joined forces to ensure that the island moves forward with the needs and demands of its visitors and residents.
There is a need for this development, as although cruising has seen a 2.5% increase in the number of ship passengers, the number of cruise ships visiting Barbados had gone down by 21 thus indicating that they were calling at other ports that could offer new and better facilities.
One important spin off of this exciting project is that over 700 jobs will be created for local people with 200 on the construction side and another 500 later in other commercial related areas.
Costing over $300 million and taking 2 years to construct, the new facility will allow some of the worlds’ biggest cruise ships to dock. As ships get bigger, there are fewer visiting, so it is vital this facility is built to accommodate them. It is planned that the new terminal will be built in 2 phases with the first phase being the construction of 2 cruise piers, arrival and departure facilities and all the associated facilities such as parking.
So on an island that has seen cruise tourism increase from 127,000 in 1985 to 726,543 in 2011 this really is an exciting move forward. A move which is fully supported by the Barbados Government with George Hutson the Minister for International Transport and International Business clearly stating at the Port Authority 50th Anniversary Staff Awards Ceremony that it was vital for the island to renew its basic infrastructure to accommodate and service increasingly larger cruise ships.
Very soon more people will be able to visit and enjoy one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world with state of the art facilities that will help this Island to keep growing with prosperity without losing its natural attractions.