Categorized | National News

Govt to Upgrade Cruise Port

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar revealed that the government is set to draft legislation that will enhance operations at one of the country’s major cruise ports.

Mr. D’Aguilar made this revelation yesterday during an appearance on the JCN’s weekly television and radio programme Jones and Company.

During his appearance on the show, Mr. D’Aguilar spoke at length about what he deemed the unacceptable state of Prince George Wharf and the government possibly bringing in a world class operator to run the facility.

“The prime minister has talked about this on many occasions as to where the government delivers services or runs particular companies and they are poorly managed or suffer from corruption,” Mr. D’Aguilar said.

“We want to infuse the private sector in to improving the quality of service of the services that we provide the Bahamian people and our foreign visitors.

“As it relates to the port, Prince George Dock, where I say we could bring a world class operator, that’s going to take a substantial amount of money that I think in this community there is no group of the people that may be willing to invest.

“Obviously, I’m going to ask, but the world class operator, that I’m looking at how they run Venice, they run Singapore. Just bring them in fix it up, get it running right. Operate it for a while and let us take it over.

“We’re working on it and that’s what we’re doing now. I want to free up as much resources as possible so we can compete with the other destinations.”

Mr. D’ Aguilar added that while Baha Mar’s net 2,300 room increase is the hoped for catalyst to increase stopover visitor numbers, The Bahamas needed its private sector to “step up” and provide new experiences for both land-based and cruise passengers.
“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.

“We’ve been focused on growing volumes and when they come here there’s less and less interesting things for them to do. It’s a product we should not be proud of.

“We want Bahamians to come forward. These are entrepreneurial opportunities. We have 4.5 million people dropping into our port and we have to come forward with creative ideas, and get people engaged and spending money when they come here.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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