GB Chamber: Home porting a chance for Grand Bahama economy to rebound

Grand Bahama is looking to Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) Bahamas home porting initiative as a chance for that island to begin to rebound after Hurricane Dorian and while still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) representative Mick Holding said in a statement yesterday.

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) statement lauded the cruise line’s historic decision to home port at Nassau’s cruise port, and provision and fuel its vessel in Grand Bahama.

Holding said the benefits that will accrue from home porting will be ideal for the rebuilding of the economy of Grand Bahama.

“Many businesses in Grand Bahama have suffered tremendous losses since Hurricane Dorian and continue to face challenges through this time of COVID-19,” said Holding.

“The RCI home porting project presents a chance for our community of businesses to rebound in our local economy and embrace a new, international client opportunity.” 

In the statement, GBPA President Ian Rolle said the return of cruises to The Bahamas after more than one year out of service, will be a “red letter day for the country”.

“Not only are we welcoming cruise vessels back to our shores after more than a year of lockdowns, but also enabling tremendous new opportunities for businesses of all sizes across the archipelago to participate in such a massive provisioning project,” Rolle said.

“I’m certain it is a venture many of our business leaders have dreamed of for decades.”

The statement added: “Whilst RCI will home port from the Port of Nassau, refueling and provisioning will be done in Freeport for a period of six months, beginning in June.”

According to the statement, the inaugural voyage is the result of extensive discussions between the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the GBPA, the GBCC and the  Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.

Those entities, the statement noted, will ensure that businesses of all sizes on Grand Bahama will benefit from RCI’s home porting initiative.

On Monday, stakeholders in the RCI home porting project will meet virtually with Grand Bahama businesses to apprise them of how they can participate.

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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