The preferred bidder for the $250m transformation of Nassau’s cruise port has hosted a recent series of government-endorsed stakeholder meetings to discuss the redevelopment.
These meetings are part of a series of outreach activities that Global Ports Holding is undertaking in partnership with the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) and the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure major stakeholders are fully involved in Prince George Wharf’s overhaul.
“It’s critical for us to establish these fundamental partnerships as early as possible,” said Colin Murphy, Global Ports Holding’s head of business development for The Americas. “The outcome of this project will depend heavily on the foundations of the relationships that we form with key stakeholders.
“We’ve heard many of the concerns of various groups during these meetings, and we recognise that there’s a lot to consider and a lot of work to be done. If we’re all constantly communicating and keeping our common goal in mind, we can work together to ensure that everyone’s needs are met in the most effective ways possible.”
The series of meetings began with leaders of associations - and committees of Bahamians - who work in and around Festival Place, including the Bahamas Taxi Cab Union, Prince George Dock Taxi Committee, Festival Place Tenants Association, Glass Bottom Ferry Boat Association, Professional Downtown Hair Braiders Association, Horse & Surrey Association, and the Scooter Association.
This was followed by a meeting with downtown merchants, representatives of the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA), the Bahamas Federation of Retailers, and the Downtown Nassau Partnership (DNP).
The Global Ports Holding group also met with members of the Bahamas Tour Operators Association, plus some of the executives, trustees and members of the Straw Business Persons Society.
“We’re making a significant investment in Nassau, and we want to be a helpful partner in the effort to revitalise downtown. This week helped us to launch that process,” Mr Murphy said. “It’s important that we all have a thorough understanding of where we are now and where we want to be so that everyone involved can bring their best ideas forward to make the project successful.”
Yvette Prince, President of the Festival Place Tenants’ Association, said: “Everything that we heard and saw was very positive. We’re pleased that Global Ports Holding is reaching out to us well ahead of making any changes to the port area, so we’re going to take advantage of the opportunity to ensure that our voices are heard during this process. We support working with Global Ports Holding and are willing to collaborate to develop solutions to ensure that everyone wins through this project.”
Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, added: “The Global Ports Holding project will no doubt serve as the catalyst for the redevelopment of downtown Nassau. With this in mind, it is critical that the various stakeholders participate in the discussions and are kept abreast of the development and it moves forward.
“I am pleased with the progress that Global Ports Holding is making as they engage the local stakeholders. Every Bahamian involved in this venture must have the chance to make the most of this opportunity, whether through entrepreneurship, share ownership or the countless other benefits that it will bring. We are working together to make sure that happens.”
Global Ports Holding operates 18 cruise ports and two commercial ports in 10 countries, spread across the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions. It serves over eight million passengers at its cruise ports, and handles more than 300,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and about five million tons of total cargo at its commercial ports.