Nassau Cruise Port Limited (NCP) began officially managing the operation of Nassau’s cruise port on Wednesday and will begin construction work in earnest on the cruise port in a little more than two-and-a-half months, though it has already began making improvements to the facilities at Festival Place and received more than 250 job applications.
An advertisement posted by NCP explained that improvements have already been made to Festival Place’s bathrooms, which taxi cab drivers said they have had an issue with for years.
According to Bahamas Taxi Cab Union President Wesley Ferguson, taxicab drivers are excited by the early progress.
“The Bahamas Taxi Cab Union and its membership at the Prince George Dock are indeed excited by the much needed renovation of bathroom facilities by the Nassau Cruise Port team,” Ferguson said.
“Inadequate restroom facilities for taxi drivers has been a longstanding issue at Festival Place for many years, but thanks to the Cruise Port Limited team, proper restrooms at the port is a reality.
“The Bahamas Taxi Cab Union remains committed to the partnership with the Nassau Cruise Port on enhancing our working conditions and ultimately our tourism product.”
President of the Festival Place Tenants Association Yvette Prince said in the ad that there is a noticeable improvement to the experience in Festival Place for both visitors and vendors.
“Nassau Cruise Port Limited has already begun improving the area and improving the working experience of the Festival Place tenants in the port and the arrival and departure experience of the cruise passengers,” she said.
“Mike Maura and his team are present on the ground and we continue to look forward to the future and our new Nassau Cruise Port.”
According to the ad, more than 60 vendors occupy spaces at Festival Place and in the new design for the cruise port, new spaces will be made available for them.
Global Ports Holding’s (GPH) investment in the cruise port could add $16 billion to the Bahamian economy over the next 25 years. The cost to redevelop the port could top $250 million.
The financial benefit could be as high as $640 million per year for the Bahamian economy via business transactions, employment opportunities, philanthropic endeavors and payments to the government.