<<<Cruise ships docked in Nassau Habour.
Nassau , Bahamas – Public Works and Transport Minister the Hon. Neko C. Grant urged Bahamians to take full advantage of “the many income generating opportunities” that new cruise incentives legislation offers.
“I encourage all concerned who are catering to cruise visitors to be creative and innovative,” he said. “Take advantage of the many opportunities it is intended to create.”
Mr. Grant was speaking in support of a Bill for an Act to amend the Cruise Ships (Overnighting Incentives) Act in the House of Assembly, June 29.
He highlighted some of the opportunities this Bill will provide for Bahamians.
“It should encourage the return of Bahamian night clubs with native shows,” he said.
“I am saddened when I visit Bay Street in the evening when a number of cruise ships are docked,” he said. “Bay Street is in darkness; shops are closed. There is nothing for our visitors to do. We must change that.”
Hours cruise ships spend in Freeport and Nassau harbors, with a larger amount of passengers, will allow taxi drivers, tour operators, straw vendors, shops and restaurant operators to earn additional income, said Mr. Grant.
The casino in Freeport will also benefit because cruise passengers would prefer to spend an enjoyable evening off the ship, he said.
“However, we must make them want to disembark by providing a memorable experience,” he added.
Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association research revealed that in this region a cruise passenger spends an average of $100 at some visiting ports and $150 at others, noted Mr. Grant.
“In the Bahamas, the expenditure is less than $70 per passenger. We are allowing each passenger to take back to the ship $30 to $35 that they could spend with us.
“If we can increase the average passenger expenditure by $30, we would be able to generate an additional $45,000,000 in revenue by persons and businesses catering to our cruise passengers,” he said.