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Disney must give Bahamian vendors priority

Bahamians are to be given priority in operating excursions for Disney Cruise Line’s port at Lighthouse Point, South Eleuthera, according to the heads of agreement (HOA) for the project.

They will have to be approved by the company, along with vendors intending to sell Bahamian goods at the port.

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis tabled the document in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

“The developer shall provide the opportunity, in exchange for certain arms-length considerations and other terms and conditions to be negotiated between the developer and such persons, for Bahamian owners and operators of charter deep sea fishing boats, parasailing boats, jet skis, banana boats rides, water-skiing, bone fishing boats, sightseeing boats or tour boats about Eleuthera or other neighboring island, and land tours for bird watching, cultural or historical site visits, or nature excursions…to offer their services to the developers guests on the property on those days when a Disney Cruise Line ship is in port on the property,” the HOA states.

“Such excursion operators…shall be selected by the developer, and the particular number of such excursion operators shall be determined by the developer, giving priority to Bahamians in the first instance and using good faith endeavors to maximize the hiring of Bahamian excursion operators, taking into account, among other factors, experience operating excursions, guest demand, therefore, guest satisfaction experiences, safety and available space.”

Excursion operators must agree to use only boats and equipment which comply with all applicable laws and regulations; maintain in full force and effect passenger liability insurance in amounts and coverages and other terms and conditions deemed acceptable to Disney, and “operate their respective businesses and conduct themselves consistent with the high quality service for which Disney is known”.

Additionally, Disney will provide, “at a minimal rent, space for Bahamian vendors on the property selected by the developer for the retail sale of authentic, high quality Bahamian retail goods, services, souvenirs, arts and crafts, Bahamian tee-shirts, and any other merchandise, other than Disney merchandise, on those days when a Disney Cruise Line ship is in port, on the property”.

Vendors must also provide goods that are acceptable to Disney.

The company has also agreed to purchase and use at minimum, five percent of its agricultural and seafood products from Bahamians, including the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI), subject to availability, competitive terms, price, quantity, and quality, all on reliably consistent basis.

The agreement further mandates that Disney directly employ at least 120 Bahamians during the construction of the project.

Disney has 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 heads of agreement was signed by Secretary of the Cabinet Camille Johnson and Disney Cruise Line President Jeff Vahle on March 7, 2019.

Sloan Smith

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Sloan covers national news for The Nassau Guardian. Sloan officially joined the news team in September 2016 but interned at The Nassau Guardian while studying journalism at the University of The Bahamas.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications

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