A heads of agreement (HOA) with Holistica might not materialize until closer to the end of the 2019, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar told Guardian Business yesterday, adding that negotiations are “complex”. Holistica is the new destination company forged by a partnership between Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) and the ITM Group, which is working with the government on a deal to redevelop the Grand Lucayan resort complex and transform Grand Bahama’s cruise port into an adventure park.
D’Aguilar added that the HOA with Global Ports Holding for the redevelopment and operation of Prince George Wharf could be close. He said those negotiations are also still ongoing.
“You’re mostly focused on the specifics of the deal,” he said. “They’re tough sometimes.”
He said about both heads of agreement that nothing has been finalized and nothing has been approved.
Holistica’s partnership is a 50-50 deal between RCL and ITM and will also include destinations in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Kumamoto, Japan.
D’Aguilar explained that all of the cruise ship companies seem to be developing new destinations and expanding and improving their existing destinations, like private islands, in preparation for growth in the cruise industry and competition between each other.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) reported in its Quarterly Economic and Financial Developments report for June 2019 that HAL Properties Limited, the owner of Carnival Corporation, was approved to expand its beach entertainment facility on Half Moon Cay, with plans to construct more facilities, including a cruise pier on the island. Carnival’s projects and renovations are expected to cost $80 million.
Additionally, MSC is completing the renovation of its Ocean Cay project, Carnival is also building a new cruise port on Grand Bahama and Disney Cruise Line is hoping to receive the green light on a new project at Lighthouse Point on Eleuthera.