Disney project estimated to increase govt revenue by $357 million over 25 years
Disney Cruise Line’s cruise port is projected to increase government revenue by $357.5 million over a period of 25 years, according to the Heads of Agreement for the controversial project at Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis tabled the much-anticipated document in the House of Assembly today.
“The developer commissioned Oxford Economics, one of the world’s leading providers for economic analysis, forecasts and consulting advice, to identify the economic impacts associated with the project,” the agreement states.
“The study employed a proprietary input-output model developed by Oxford Economics to complete the economic impact modeling. The analysis examined a 25-year timeline, including four years of development and construction, and capturing ongoing operations from 2023 to 2043.
“Over the 25-year time horizon, the project is expected to provide an $805.1 million increase in Bahamian GDP and a $357.5 million increase in Bahamian government revenues.”
Earlier this month, during a town hall meeting in Tarpum Bay, Eleuthera, Minnis revealed that the government signed the HOA on March 7 at Cabinet Office.
The Minnis administration has been slammed for signing the HOA in “secret”.
As he addressed the matter in the House, Minnis said he makes no apology for making the announcement in Eleuthera out of respect for the residents there.
He said moving forward, he will continue the practice of advising Family Islands residents about investments that will impact their communities.
Minnis said the project will not begin until an environmental impact study is conducted to the government’s satisfaction.
The agreement mandates that Disney directly employ at least 120 Bahamians during the construction of the project.
Minnis said Disney also is also committed to an overall ratio of 80 percent Bahamian workers to 20 percent non-Bahamian workers during the life of the construction phase of the project.
The project will include the construction of the pier, berth and marina; construction and operation of dining and beverage facilities; beach expansion, enhancement and improvement; themed buildings and themed elements, play areas, attractions and structures; employee dining, housing and recreation facilities, among other features.
The Disney development is expected to cost between $250 million and $400 million.