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KINGSTON, Jamaica; April 21, 2021: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has announced that Jamaica is set to benefit from a major donation from global cruise company, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), to assist in the island’s COVID-19 recovery effort.
In making his 2021 sectoral presentation in parliament yesterday, Minister Bartlett disclosed that NCL has agreed to give Jamaica US$1 million to be utilised in its COVID-19 recovery programme, which entails providing well-needed assistance in building out the health infrastructure needed to facilitate the return of cruise tourism in a safe and seamless manner.
Minister Bartlett said “let me thank Norwegian Cruise Lines for the planned donation of US$1 million or approximately J$150 million to the Government of Jamaica to assist with our COVID-19 management efforts.”
He added that: “They fully understand that the loss of tourism has resulted in significant economic hardship and that, along with the imminent return of cruising this summer, will provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who are extremely dependent on the tourism industry.”
It was also revealed that the cruise line is also donating US$500,000 to the volcano affected island of St. Vincent & The Grenadines.
Minister Bartlett highlighted that the return of cruise shipping is expected to provide a much-needed boost to the economy and that over the past two years, government has spent billions of dollars upgrading and developing the ports in Ocho Rios, Falmouth and more recently Port Royal, to enhance the country’s capacity to welcome more of the world’s large cruise ships.
While expressing confidence in the return of cruise tourism the Minister said “I want to assure this Honourable House that we are also putting protocols in place that will ensure that it will not only be a lucrative endeavour but one that is safe and seamless too.”