Cruise Group pledges 1.3m visitor rise


Tribune Business Editor


A Bahamian majority-owned group plans to transform Nassau's cruise port into a "must call destination" that will attract an extra 1.3m visitors annually by 2028.

The Global Ports Holding-led group, in their "unsolicited" July 2018 offer to the Government, forecast that its project will combine with anticipated cruise industry expansion to increase annual passenger volumes through Prince George Wharf by almost 28 percent over the upcoming decade - from 3.575m in 2019 to 4.938m by 2028.

Referring to their planned $200m capital spend, the consortium's proposal said: "The planned investment, combined with Global Ports Holding's unparalleled management expertise, will entice cruise lines navigating the Caribbean to designate Nassau as a must-call destination.

"The growth of the industry and Nassau is so dynamic that the business has overwhelmed the infrastructure and impacts on the community, leading to deterioration in the passenger experience and, at the same time, significantly impacting the quality of life for residents."

Global Ports has partnered with Nassau Container Port operator, Arawak Port Development Company (APD), and Bahamian investment advisory firm, CFAL, in its offer to take over management and operational control of Prince George Wharf - a contract that the Government now plans to obtain competitive bids for via a public tender or Request for Proposal (RFP).

The consortium, which will be 51 percent majority-owned by Bahamian investors and entities, described Nassau and its cruise port as being at "a paradox" in readying itself for the predicted explosive growth in vessel numbers and sizes - all of which requires expansion of Prince George Wharf's berthing capacity to meet the sector's needs.

Noting that previous masterplans for redeveloping downtown Nassau's harbourfront and Bay Street have "not been executed fruitfully", the Global Ports Holding-led group said: "Downtown Nassau needs to be re-imagined, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind experience based on the businesses, historic architecture and colourful street life.

"The most significant way to redevelop downtown is to reconnect it to the water. Today, the port is designed to prevent this connection. Passengers are intercepted through a series of buildings, blocked with walls and fences that do everything possible to prevent integration between the passenger and downtown Nassau.

"These structures create chokepoints which are used to channel customers through points where vendors are accumulated to create an unwelcoming experience and prevent people from flowing through the downtown area..... The redevelopment of downtown must start with a new waterfront."

The consortium described Nassau as "having some of the longest walking distances in the industry" between cruise ship and reaching downtown attractions, such as retail, restaurant and tour facilities.

"From the outer most pier to the existing port exit, some passengers must walk nearly half a mile, which is unacceptable," the Global Ports Holding group argued. "As much as the current piers include planters and shade structures, it is not a welcoming experience.

"Thus the plan proposes the use of trams and the creation of conveniently located tram stops that will move people quickly and efficiently from those outer piers to the arrival harbour."

The consortium added that their planned redevelopment of Nassau's waterfront involved the creation of open spaces, parks through the reclamation of land from the existing harbour - a proposal that would involve filling in the space between the existing frontage and nearest cruise berth.

"The new waterfront is not a platform for creating additional retail, as that will have the opposite effect on the current merchants on Bay Street but should focus on open space, parks and creating a world-class waterfront that will attract people focusing on entertainment and food and beverage," the Global Ports Holding group said.

It added that it plans to replace the Festival Place building with a new arrivals plaza that will function as a gateway to downtown Nassau, not as a retail centre.


TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Have you too not noticed with each press release the Tribune is complicit in peoplepublic readers not needing knowing the name comrade spokesperson for privileged consortium - with the 'second in line undisclosed terms contracts' transform Nassau's cruise port into a "must call destination?
{ No need name them when some we can done call out they name, agree? }


MonkeeDoo 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't usually agree with you Comrade but this is the God's honest Truth. We had the same thing with Ken Kerr of Providence Advisors being the only name mentioned in the article about the Dump Award. Like Ken know's the first or even last thing about Garbage Remediation. I mean these stories just have FRONT written all over them. Of the people are too ashamed to have their names associated with the project. Its like someone just pushes a note under the Tribune Front Door and they do a story on it., I know Pierre don't go that way.


TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Ma Comrade MonkeeDo, much appreciative your acknowledgment - even Comrade Tal - can be deserving blogging moments - presumption of innocence post.


killemwitdakno 4 years, 4 months ago

We don't need more cruise tourists. Could use more stay tourists.

It will happen with AirBnB.


FPO 4 years, 4 months ago

Airbnb has had a huge impact in the affordable tourist market. Even though most don't rent $$250- rooms, they do spend quite a lot at restaurants and stores. They have a double sided review system. The person staying with you reviews your place and in turn, you review them. Also, the people coming to stay have to provide government ID to Airbnb before they can book. We've only been using Airbnb in Florida for 3 years now with great satisfaction. It's a much more people friendly "local flavour" experience.


TheMadHatter 4 years, 4 months ago

Trams don't cost millions of dollars. Get them now. Let's see them moving people back and forth first, then we can think about if our britches are big enough to play in the big boy sandbox.

We really really need to outlaw the use of the words "million" and "billion" in this country.

Trams!!!!!! Does anyone have enough sense and wherewithal to get some damn trams out on the docks by the end of the month? No. Not in this banana republic. We need MILLIONS so pockets can get greased before the tram-wheels get greased.


BahamaPundit 4 years, 4 months ago

Tribune seems to be working hard to tender up the idea in Bahamians' head of giving their port to the white boys. Pure propaganda and fake news. Such a disgrace!!! The real problem is not the port but the slum called downtown Baystreet already owned by the shite boys. This is nothing but a land grab, so the white boys can leverage against the Chinese Point ownership, which will destroy their current monopolistic business practice, when all the tourists shop at the Point instead of downtown. You can't make this S _ _ t up!!! Unbelievable!!!


OldFort2012 4 years, 4 months ago

Here we go. That will be US$100m, please. COD.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by OldFort2012


BahamaPundit 4 years, 4 months ago

These nitwits can't even be bothered to slap paint on their buildings on Baystreet. All they want is land and monopolies. What happened to the downtown development project?


BahamaPundit 4 years, 4 months ago

The trams will probably droo tourists way down East Bay Street in order to increase the value of those chips and cut out the Point. These guys are so obviously crooked it's laughable. Only thing more funny is our FNM government that is even more crooked but still thinks and pretends it is a force of truth and justice. That's the real narrative that needs to be unraveled. The FNM is just as corrupt as the PLP and, perhaps, even more dangerous.


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