Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced today a new joint venture with ITM Group that seeks to develop cruise ports around the world.
The new company is called Holistica, and its goal is create an inclusive model for destination development that works holistically – thus the name – to meet the needs of coastal communities, local governments, and land, sea, and air travelers.
The first project for the new company is a $275 million development in Freeport, The Bahamas that is centered around the Grand Lucayan resort. The project includes ambitious plans for local ownership, employment, job training, community investment and sustainable construction practices.
In addition to the Freeport project, the companies said the new venture will own and operate destinations in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Kumamoto, Japan.
The partners have commenced a search for a CEO for the new company, which will be headquartered in Miami.
"The continuing growth and rising popularity of cruise vacations make it clear that the sustainable development of coastal destinations, including the thoughtful evolution of existing ones, is in the travel industry's best interest," said Michael Bayley of RCL. "We have spent five decades learning what works and what doesn't, and we know the potential of strategic development to deliver extraordinary guest experiences and meet the needs of local communities."
Added Bayley: "Having more destinations, and developing them in a responsible manner, gives travelers greater vacation quality, and expands the landscape of available travel options as the tourism industry grows."