MIAMI / ANTIGUA ─ Antigua and Barbuda minister of tourism and investment Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez was joined by Royal Caribbean Group, vice president of government relations, Americas, Russell Benford to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Royal Caribbean Group to bring thousands of job opportunities to the people of Antigua and Barbuda in June.
In making the announcement, minister Fernandez said, “Royal Caribbean is one of the iconic brands that is part of the foundation of cruise tourism in the Caribbean, and this initiative will not only see a huge cadre of our tourism professionals become gainfully employed while being ambassadors for our country, but it will further strengthen the partnership between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and Royal Caribbean. It’s a win-win solution for all of us.”
The minister also spoke of the government’s careful and successful management of the coronavirus pandemic that gave Royal Caribbean the confidence they could hire the services of citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, knowing our people are vaccinated, fully trained and possess the skills needed to add value to Royal Caribbean’s operations.
“The relationship between Royal Caribbean and the government of Antigua and Barbuda goes back well over 30 years,” said Benford. “We have supported each other through the most challenging times and signing this agreement demonstrates the strength of our partnership and will result in boosting the tourism economy.”
He added, “I take this opportunity to congratulate minister Fernandez as well as our entire team involved in moving negotiations forward that will benefit the people of Antigua and Barbuda. This is a good day for the travel industry.”
In congratulating Royal Caribbean for its service to Caribbean tourism, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority chief executive officer, Colin C. James remarked: “Antigua and Barbuda have enjoyed a strong rebound in cruise arrivals in January and March of this year and Royal Caribbean has been a major part of that. This new partnership will impact hospitality employment opportunities for the destination in a positive way that goes beyond just welcoming cruise passengers to our shores.”
The employment initiative on Royal Caribbean’s ships will commence with a major job fair in St John’s in June open to nationals and residents of Antigua and Barbuda. Opportunities for employment are in a number of positions such as the Marine sector which include junior seaman, junior engineman, assistant electricians; in the operations sector including storekeepers, cruise staff, youth staff, sports staff, laundry and restaurant attendants, bar waiters, wait staff, bakers, and butchers. In the specialty sector, vacancies are available for all positions in the casino, entertainers, photographers, and the list goes on. “This is the tourism industry performing at its finest”, James concluded.
Antigua and Barbuda will also receive the bonus of showcasing the talent of its people in a range of services. The new employees will be Antigua and Barbuda’s cruise guest ambassadors and further strengthen the existing Royal Caribbean partnership.