Despite not knowing the extent of the damage sustained on Grand Bahama from Hurricane Dorian, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Chief Executive Officer Michael Bayley and Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald reasserted their commitments to their development projects on the island.
Carnival has already committed to the construction of a cruise port on Grand Bahama; while Holistica – a joint venture company formed by RCI and ITM Group – continues its negotiations with the government to redevelop Freeport’s cruise port and the Grand Lucayan resort complex.
In statements sent to the media yesterday, both RCI and Carnival also committed to helping Grand Bahama and Abaco with rebuilding efforts.
Hurricane Matthew caused parts of the Grand Lucayan to be shut down three years ago. The property was subsequently taken over by the government to ensure that jobs were secure and the property could be sold as quickly as possible.
If a deal is reached with RCI, the company could receive the resort in a worsened state after the passage of Hurricane Dorian, though Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar reported on Sunday that the Grand Lucayan complex is completely insured in case of catastrophic loss.
D’Aguilar also added that Holistica’s redevelopment plans call for the partial demolition of the complex in any event.
Bayley said in his statement that RCI is committed to the long-term success of The Bahamas’ tourism industry.
“While we are all focused on offering assistance with the hurricane recovery, we would like to assure the minister and people of The Bahamas that we remain committed to this project and to the long-term success of the Bahamian tourism industry,” said Bayley.
RCI officially opened its “Perfect Day at Coco Cay” product recently on a private cay in the Berry Islands.
In his statement, Donald restated Carnival’s commitment to both its Grand Bahama project and its proposed redevelopment of its private island Half Moon Cay.
“On behalf of all of us at Carnival Corporation and our cruise line brands, let me begin by saying our thoughts and prayers go out to the great people of The Bahamas — our friends and partners for many years,” he said.
“It was very emotional seeing reports of Hurricane Dorian’s impact over the past couple days. Our hearts go out to those who have lost friends and loved ones and whose homes and businesses have been destroyed or damaged.
“In recent weeks, there have been questions about our commitment to two major projects on the islands of Grand Bahama and Half Moon Cay. We remain fully committed to those projects as part of the recovery and rebuilding process.”