How have changes in the Miami tourism sector impacted the cruise market?
At Celebrity Cruises, we have seen a growth in a number of areas, including millennial travelers looking for new experiences, requests for off-the-beaten-path destinations, and longer overnights in popular cities. We have also had a surge on our signature sailings, where we take guests to in-demand destination-specific events like Mardi-Gras in New Orleans, celebrating the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan, Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, Fourth of July in Boston and now we have year-round cruising to the Caribbean. So far, we have not seen a decline with the number of guests we are seeing from Latin America. Our four source markets there have seen steady interest and bookings, and we continue to have new offerings to entice them. Latin America as a destination, continues to be popular for guests. Cuba has become one of the fastest-growing cruise destinations under former President Obama’s “people to people” license encouraging cultural and humanitarian exchanges. There are still some tourism limitations, and we are hopeful that relations will stay strong opening Cuba to all who want the experiences.
What are the main expectations and opportunities with the building of the largest cruise port in the country at PortMiami?
Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, has long dreamed of building the PortMiami Terminal. It will have a significant economic impact on Miami-Dade area. The expectations are that the design and flow of the terminal will ease the embarkation and debarkation process for guests, making it easy to experience cruising, access transportation options and navigate their vacation experience without the stress that sometimes comes along with it. The financial implications on Miami-Dade include 4,000 jobs and an annual infusion of $500 million annually.