Ships docked in Nassau

The Bahamas Minister of Tourism Dionisio D'Aguilar is making his frustrations with the cruise industry known, sounding off in local media.

He told Tribune Business, in an article posted on Tribune 242, that the cruise lines "make all the money, and we have nothing."

He did concede that the Bahamas needed to upgrade its product offering to continue to attract the business and economic impact.

He went on to say the current situation with the cruise lines was unsustainable, including complaints that cruise lines point passengers to specific land-based businesses, where the companies dictate margins and mark-ups.

"The cruise industry's increasing use of Bahamian private islands is also a concern, as the lines typically run and control the attractions there themselves, leaving little opportunity for Bahamian entrepreneurs and creating just a few local jobs," the article said.

"I would challenge anyone to drill down and focus on stopover visitors, as they spend the money in our economy, and whether that's improving," the Minster said. "That's what I'm focused on."

"We've got lots and lots of cruise passengers," he added, "and it's not important to grow that number. We have to find out ways for them to spend more money when they come here. That's the challenge."