BCCEC ensuring family island chambers ready for impact of large projects
With the recent announcements of multimillion-dollar projects on the Family Islands, including the proposed sale of the Grand Lucayan in Grand Bahama to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and the ITM Group and the sale of Lighthouse Point in Eleuthera to Disney Cruise Line, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) is ensuring those islands’ business communities are prepared for the economic impact.
Chamber Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Beckles said he has started a tour of the chambers of commerce on the Family Islands to do just that.
“I was just in Abaco two weeks ago, I will be in Grand Bahama on Friday and when I get back I will go to Eleuthera, Bimini, North and South Andros and Exuma for the same reason,” he said yesterday.
“What we’re trying to do is take all the resources we have as the Bahamas chamber and link with our island chambers to make sure they have exactly the same access to the information we have.”
The Office of the Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that Lucayan Renewal Holdings – the government-appointed special purpose vehicle charged with managing the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort – signed a letter of intent with RCL and ITM Group to begin exclusive negotiations for the purchase of the resort for $65 million.
Earlier this month the government signed a heads of agreement with Disney Cruise Line for the development of a $400 million cruise port at Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera.
Both projects are expected to be major boosts to those islands’ economies, with a recent report complied by global forecasting and quantitative analysis firm Oxford Economics and commissioned by Disney Cruise Line revealing that the development in southern Eleuthera is expected to provide an increase of $805.1 million to the Bahamian gross domestic product (GDP).
“By extension, we’re also visiting with them to understand their needs a lot better, because as you know, how we conduct business in Nassau is completely different from how it transpires in the Family Islands. So, they do have unique needs peculiar to their islands and also peculiar to what they have to offer,” Beckles said.
“So, we’re meeting with them on two levels. One, to ensure that they have the same access that we do, we lead by example, being the chamber of The Bahamas; and secondly, to help them to understand their peculiar needs and marry those needs with our message of going to the global community and saying we have these opportunities in The Bahamas.”