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A new USD $300 million cruise terminal will be built in Bridgetown, Barbados which will be capable of berthing megaliners.

Announced at the Barbados Port Inc.’s 50th anniversary staff awards ceremony, Minister of International Transport and International Business, George Hutson proclaimed the importance of cruise to Barbados.

“If we are going to remain relevant, if we are going to capitalize on the opportunities available from cruise tourism, we must renew our plant from the basic infrastructure currently existing to one which will accommodate and service the increasingly large cruise ships,” Mr Hutson said.

Barbados may have recorded the highest amount of visiting cruise passengers in their history for the cruise season running between October 2010 and April 2011, however Mr Hutson expressed his concern surrounding the decreasing cruise ship calls the country has experienced.

“The number of cruise ship calls have declined as ships have become larger and requiring more dedicated berths with specialised infrastructure,” Mr Hutson said.

The new terminal is expected to include dedicated cruise berths, a commercial retail development, new home-port facilities and ground transportation support along with additional facilities dedicated to the cargo sector.

“The potential benefits to this project reinforces the policy position towards the development of Barbados as a cruise tourism hub and to reposition the country as the leading cruise destination within the southern Caribbean,” Mr Hutson said.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan