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Romer Defends Criticism over Cruise Passenger Arrivals

Dr. Kenneth Romer

Journal Staff Writer

Director of Aviation Dr. Kenneth Romer defended criticism from President of the Trade Union
Congress (TUC) Obie Ferguson who claimed that Bahamians are not benefitting from this year’s
record-breaking cruise passenger arrival numbers.
“What I would say is that hotels are experiencing record-breaking numbers of occupancy that
the average daily rates are at a record time high. And when I again walk through the store
markets, I’m seeing our local entrepreneurs and stakeholders who are benefiting again from the
influx of cruise passengers who are able to put bread on the table and uniforms on their children.
The tithes in the offering plates are because of the 5.5 million is coming to our cruise lines,” Dr.
Romer said.
“I will speak to those particular visitors, those passes and entrepreneurs, local ones and ask them
again if they’re benefiting from the increased tourism numbers. I’m employed by tourism. I’ll
speak personally, I’m benefiting. OK, and so I think The Bahamas generally feels we could do
more? The answers yes. Have done more compared to the pre-pandemic years. We’re all happy
to be back on our jobs and have tourists coming. There was a time when there’s nobody walking
downtown. We don’t want to go back to those days. So we’re benefiting. Can we benefit more?
The answers? Yes. Are we benefiting now? The answer? Yes. Again, yes.”
The Nassau Cruise Port is forecasting it will receive 5.3 million passengers during the 2024
calendar year, a 19.6 percent or 882,000 increase on the 4.4 million arrivals projected for 2023.
Both figures represent major rises over previous predictions, with Michael Maura, the Prince
George Wharf operator’s chief executive, forecasting five months ago that the Nassau Cruise
Port had confirmed bookings for 4.2 million passengers this year and between 4.5 million to
4.6 million in 2024.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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