ROYAL Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley.
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune News Editor
ROYAL Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley said Nassau ranks in the bottom ten per cent of destinations customers are satisfied with, creating demand for projects like the proposed Paradise Island Royal Beach Club that appeal to cruise ship visitors.
His comment came during an interview with The Tribune yesterday about the proposed project.
“Nassau is in the bottom ten per cent,” he said. “Coco Cay is the number one destination that Royal Caribbean goes to in the world out of 100 global destinations because it’s a curated experience designed and built to deliver a high-level experience to the customer. At the end of the day that’s all that matters.”
“We want to improve the experience of our guests. We can’t keep selling experiences to people who say we love going to Perfect Day, it’s fantastic, we want to go back, but the Nassau thing, can you guys stop going there? We can’t do that, so yeah, we want to be a part of the solution.”
Mr Bayley said customer satisfaction surveys reveal guests find Nassau “tired.”
“They’ve come here many times before and there’s nothing new, fresh or innovative. Secondly, there needs to be more product, more experience, more uniqueness, more options,” he said.
When Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis announced his administration approved RCI’s Paradise Island project subject to environmental evaluations, critics said the project would divert guests from Downtown to Paradise Island, hurting local businesses.
Mr Bayley said this highlights the need to improve Nassau.
“We run a cruise-line,” he said. “We’re the largest cruise-line in the world. Part of what we do is relentlessly focus on delivering a great customer experience. We get data from every single cruise every single time from every single customer. If one person says they don’t like something, fine. When we look at the trend data and we see that a lot of people are not enjoying their experiences, what do we do? We change it. We renew it. We invigorate it to try to remove obstacles to their satisfaction.
“If you look at the data from all the customers on Nassau, maybe we’ll see that 70 per cent of the customers say well, you know, the streets are dirty. Well, if that’s true, then why don’t we clean the streets? That removes 70 per cent of the obstacle (and it) doesn’t cause a lot of money.”
Mr Bayley said without its Perfect Day at CocoCay offering, the cruise line might struggle to maintain high visitor numbers.
“If we were just going to Nassau, and not going to Perfect Day, we would have an issue,” he said. “When you package Perfect Day with Nassau, people accept it. It’s like you may not want the risotto but you want the fish; it’s the deal. It’s what you get.”
Mr Bayley said stakeholders should collaborate as part of a formal team to create and execute a master plan for Nassau.
“(On Wednesday) we met with Graeme, the president of Baha Mar (and) we talked about this and I’ve had other discussions over the years with different individuals over the years, including the government,” he said. “My proposal is that we form a team of stakeholders and concerned individuals and that team, why don’t we start making a vision, a master plan for the future, for the tourism sector, and execute a plan? It’s the vision that needs to come from The Bahamas, and that vision then needs to be methodically executed.
“Part of the execution of that plan has to be capital. Nothing is going to change without an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars and I think if you bring the right tourist sector group together, many of these corporations have access to huge capital funds and if there’s a plan that we could really all would together to create, many of these projects could be funded.”