The partnership ─ the first of its kind in The Bahamas ─ will support Bahamian small businesses through a pilot program focusing on local producers of hot and pepper sauces. Budding entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to be selected to showcase their products on Royal Caribbean ships and properties, including its private island destination Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Berry Islands. The products would also be made available for purchase at the cruise ports in The Bahamas as well as at Royal Caribbean’s planned developments on Grand Bahama and Paradise Island.
The parties are discussing expanding the relationship to include agricultural-related shore excursion tours for Royal Caribbean guests dubbed “agro-tourism” that will centre around the farming of native peppers and pepper sauce production. Royal Caribbean will engage small businesses to create a tour experience for its more than one million guests visiting The Bahamas annually to have the opportunity to experience a taste of local culture and to see firsthand how the peppers are grown and sauces are made.
Davinia Grant, Executive Director of the Access Accelerator, said the partnership focuses on a major area that the organization has prioritized: the farming industry.
“There is a lot to be excited about as we partner with Royal Caribbean Group and look at growing our relationship in the future. This opportunity allows small businesses to have their products enjoyed internationally by potentially millions of people,” Grant said. “As an organization, we are focused on inspiring Bahamians into farming not only as an avenue to boost the economy, but to increase food security for Bahamians.”
She continued, “This venture will allow the Access Accelerator to create business-to-business linkages on a large scale for small businesses. We look forward to pulling together small businesses to secure large contracts. Agro-tourism is estimated to have a global market value of $10.1 billion by 2024. With Royal Caribbean Group helping to support this industry, we believe this initiative will have a positive impact on the small business sector and the entire Bahamas.”
“We have seen what the impact of the pandemic has been to the people of The Bahamas, a country with an economy dependent on tourism,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We applaud Access Accelerator for its dedication to the support of small business development and look forward to partnering with the organization to find new and ongoing opportunities to re-ignite the economic growth of the destination that we consider our home.”
About Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre
The Access Accelerator is the product of a tripartite arrangement between the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, University of The Bahamas (UB) and the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC). The Centre works to guide the development, funding, growth, and evolution of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“MSMEs”) in The Bahamas. Visit us at www.accessaccelerator.org.
About Royal Caribbean Group
Royal Caribbean Group is the operating business name for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Royal Caribbean Group is the owner and operator of three global cruise vacation brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. Royal Caribbean Group is also a 50% owner of a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, our brands operate 58 ships with an additional 15 on order as of March 15, 2021. Learn more at www.royalcaribbeangroup.com or www.rclinvestor.com.