Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) has unveiled a new model for cruise destination development, formalising a partnership with Mexico's ITM Group to pursue projects in collaboration with local authorities.
The new company, dubbed Holistica, will be owned 50% by each partner and have offices in Miami.
Part of the idea, said Royal Caribbean International president Michael Bayley, is to smooth the rather lengthy and tortuous process of getting new port destinations approved and built in many localities.
Beyond that, it recognises the need to bring all stakeholders to the table.
"We're all aware an emerging change is occurring, not only in the Caribbean but around the world," he said. "We're seeing a shift in how people view tourism, certainly volume tourism, and we've seen that there's really an opportunity to think bigger about the future of cruise tourism as it relates to the development of destinations."
Bayley said Holistica will work with local communities and governments, travellers, hotel and airline companies.
"It's really about trying to think in a different way about sustainable development to create win-win outcomes," he said.
RCCL will keep its own port development group, which is engaged in multiple improvement projects around the world, including its new series of Private Day developments, which are exclusive to RCCL guests.
With both Private Day, which is expected to total five destinations, and Holistica, RCCL seems to be stepping up its port development activity even as it continues measured growth of its fleet.
ITM Group CEO Mauricio Hamui said the joint venture will emphasise ecological principles in its construction practices.
"A well-designed destination brings economic benefits to communities and cultural enrichment to travellers while creating the least possible disruption to the human and natural environment," he said. "There is a way to do these projects inclusively, collaboratively and sustainably, and those are the characteristics this new partnership is meant to embody."