By LETRE SWEETING
Tribune Staff Reporter
CONCERNS were raised by some downtown merchants yesterday that business will decline if Royal Caribbean International moves forward with its $110m beach club project on Paradise Island.
Samantha Allen, manager of Pirates of Nassau Museum, fears the new attraction will lead fewer tourists to visit Downtown, an area she is desperate to see revitalised.
“There may be a lot less tourists getting off (a cruise ship) and just running Downtown as they might opt to do today,” she said. “I don’t even know exactly what Royal Caribbean has planned, I haven’t seen the deal as to what’s included, but I imagine they’re going to offer them just like they do (with) their private islands where they have the beach and beach chairs and whatnot. So, I’m certain they will be attracting lots of people that will opt to do that.”
“But you can’t really (blame tourists) if they choose that option because Downtown has not been looking very spiffy. I work down here, I walk down there. Attention is definitely not being paid to the state of Downtown. I don’t know who is supposed to pick up the garbage and why the businesses are allowed to put their garbage out by the bins. That should be just for passers-by to put in their trash and not the trash of a store.
“And even now, I just spoke to the police officers at the police station downtown because, you know, they have no garbage bins there so the tourists are just leaving their empty drinks and bottles and coconuts all along the wall of the police station.
“I am curious to know who is responsible for taking care of and maintaining these things.”
Mike Maura, CEO and director of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd, has said RCI’s project can coexist with existing products, saying guests do not have sufficient experiences and adventures.
However, vendors like Rebecca Small, president of the Straw Business Persons Society, told The Tribune she is wary they will be left behind.
“There’s some concern that we vendors may be left behind because if the focus now with tourism is to highlight this elaborate (RCI) project, of course, we will get left behind if there is no major advertisement to showcase the straw market. I’m concerned about that,” Ms Small said.
“I feel that if the government doesn’t set up a system (for us) as vendors who built the straw industry to where it is today, we’re going to get left behind.”
Ms Small wants the government to meet with stakeholders and address their concerns before the RCI project takes off.
“When I think about all of the souvenir shops on Bay Street, that is direct competition (to us). We are supposedly the biggest souvenir shop with Bahamians, entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals on the main Bay Street. They have just set up across the market another souvenir shop that is a direct conflict, in my opinion, with the Straw Market, and now, the RCI project.”
becks 2 months, 1 week ago
Duh!! Ya think!! Of course this will lead fewer cruise ship passengers to downtown!! That is the whole point!!! The cruise lines don’t want their passengers going into the city or anywhere else except to their own exclusive “resort”. The downtown businesses should have been fighting this deal from day one years ago!!! Now they are way too late.
IslandWarrior 2 months, 1 week ago
Private Islands: The cruise industry owns several private islands in The Bahamas, including Castaway Cay by Disney Cruises, Great Stirrup Cay by Norwegian Cruises, Coco Cay by Royal Caribbean, Princess Cay by Princess Cruises, and Half Moon Cay by Holland America. These islands receive a significant number of visitors annually, with a combined total of 2 million visitors per year. However, these visitors do not contribute much to the Bahamian economy as they spend most of their time on the private islands, where most of the revenue generated stays within the cruise industry.
Economic Impact: The economic impact of private islands owned by cruise lines in The Bahamas is concerning. According to a report by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, the cruise industry accounts for approximately 7% of the country's GDP, and tourism, in general, accounts for 50% of the country's GDP. However, most of the revenue generated by the private islands owned by cruise lines stays within the cruise industry and does not contribute to the Bahamian economy. The passengers who visit these islands tend to spend little or no money on the Bahamian economy, as the cruise lines provide most of the services on the islands.
That's (2 Million Visitor) 2,000,000.00 who technically don't visit The Bahamas.
becks 2 months ago
Exactly. It’s the biggest scam perpetrated on the Bahamian people.
truetruebahamian 2 months ago
An accounting should perhaps be taken on all revenue collected by the cruise ships while in Bahamian territory and particularly on those vessels under Bahamian registry and VAT imposed without restriction on all proceeds.
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