Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer Oneil Khosa told Guardian Business yesterday that he welcomes the sale of the Grand Lucayan resort complex to Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and the ITM Group, contending that the sale and redevelopment of the resort will open a new chapter for tourism on Grand Bahama and expand the hotel offerings for Bahamas Paradise’s cruise and stay program.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, which has been bringing tourists to The Bahamas, especially Grand Bahama, for more than ten years, expects its cruise and stay program to receive a huge boost when the redeveloped hotel opens.
“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line welcomes this development as this opens a new chapter for tourism to Grand Bahama and will be a welcomed change for the people on the island,” Khosa said.
“Our ships will play a much larger role in driving these tourism
numbers, as our guests will have more to choose from. Also our cruise and hotel stay program would see a big boost.
“As you know we are the only cruise line generating hotel room nights for The Bahamas. This initiative further strengthens our historic relationship with the island of Grand Bahama and we look forward to working with Holistica and everyone involved for its success.”
RCI and the ITM Group formed a joint venture company called Holistica last year. Yesterday, during the signing of the heads of agreement for the sale and redevelopment of the Grand Lucayan, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the companies are trading as Bahamas Ports International.
Last year it was revealed that the ITM Group and RCI had proposed to redevelop the Grand Lucayan resort complex and transform Grand Bahama’s cruise port into an adventure park.
It was suggested that the developments could produce 2,500 direct jobs and 18,000 indirect jobs.
Khosa said Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will continue to support the people of Grand Bahama and support tourism to the island.
He said the cruise line continues to bring Bahamians, who fled to Florida from Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian, back to their island. He added that many of those people have used the cruise line to bring their rebuilding supplies back from Florida.
“Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line continues to be the only reliable and sustainable lifeline to the island,” said Khosa.