Tourism Minister, Kerrie Symmonds, said Government is keen to pursue talks with Carnival Corporation on getting Barbadians trained for employment in top positions of the cruise industry.

Minister Symmonds, speaking as he welcomed the Carnival Breeze on its inaugural visit to the Port of Bridgetown on Tuesday, said this was one of the main areas of cooperation discussed with Carnival Cruise Line executives, when they visited Barbados recently.

Symmonds, said the partnership with Carnival, the dominant player in cruise tourism globally, would present an opportunity to invest in the human resource development of Barbados.

“We now want to get Barbadians to take an interest in the professional side of maritime matters, so that we would be able to train ships’ captains and engineers to position them to find employment in the cruise industry,” he said.

The Minister said his mission is to see Barbados elevated to the top of the tourism sector globally. That, he added, means evaluating where we are now and how we can do better. One of the main areas for consideration he noted, was the build out of the island’s attractions. To this end, he said Government will be working with international singing sensation, Rihanna. Expansion of the island’s homeporting activity is also on the agenda.

The Carnival Breeze sailed into Barbados with 1 700 crew and 3 700 passengers. As is customary to mark the inaugural visit of a ship, Captain Rocco Lubrano exchanged commemorative plaques with Minister Symmonds and Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Port Inc, Mr. David Jean-Marie.

The Minister expressed a desire to see the Carnival Breeze sail into Barbados more often

The ship will return to Barbados on another two-week cruise in November.