By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
Still reeling from Hurricane Dorian last year, Grand Bahama’s economy faces a significant setback due to the tourism slowdown brought on by COVID-19.
With no cruise ships and a ban on travellers from the United Kingdom and Europe, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce President Greg LaRoda, said the effects will ripple throughout the island. “Immediately after Dorian, they stopped sailing for two months here (to Grand Bahama). If you look at Grand Bahama alone, we have been through this before, but now we are talking about no cruises to the Bahamas at all, and that is very different,” he said.
Mr LaRoda said this will have a significant impact on the island’s tourism product and unemployment.
Rretailers at Port Lucaya Marketplace will be hurt by the cruise ships not coming, said Mr Laroda. “While some Bahamians buy locally, they depend heavily on cruise ships, and if they are not coming, those businesses are going to feel the pinch,” he added.