Tampa's main port in Downtown Tampa continues to expand through the
current recession. Royal Caribbean
announced plans to increase cruise opportunities to and from Tampa by
adding one more ship to its Tampa itinerary.
The Tampa Port
also recently hosted a brainstorming session to
investigate import and export opportunities between the U.S. and the
"Today is a great opportunity to
promote shipping with our different partners and to maintain and create
jobs, as well as to open doors to new markets. I see great business
potential with the range of companies represented," says Ralph Puga,
president of the Florida Foreign Trade
"The feedback has been quite
positive," adds Sheila Diaz de Andujar, commercial specialist with the
U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. "Many D.R.-based company representatives
believe they will be doing business with Tampa-area companies, in areas
such as building materials and auto parts, among others."
Despite difficulties in parts of the nation's economy, Tampa
has enjoyed a growth in cruise tourism in recent years.
have experienced a very welcomed growth trend in Tampa as a cruise port
in recent years, and Royal Caribbean's decision to again enhance
activity at the Port of Tampa is testimony to the strength of the Tampa
cruise market," says Richard Wainio, Tampa's port director and CEO. "The
Tampa Port Authority is extremely pleased to welcome the beautiful Jewel
of the Seas
to Tampa for the 2011-2012 season and we anticipate
much success and growth in tourism in the years ahead," he said.
Sources: Ralph Puga, Florida Foreign Trade Association;
Richard Wainio, Tampa Port Authority