Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford has quashed statements from the Opposition that one of the parties involved in negotiations with the government on berthing facilities has withdrawn.
In a recent sitting of the Legislative Assembly Opposition MLA Cline Glidden said Carnival Corporation had pulled out of a $100 million deal to build berthing facilities in George Town.
‘There is no truth to the statement by Mr. Cline Glidden that one of the two parties involved in negotiations with the Cayman Islands Government with respect to berthing facilities has withdrawn,’ Mr. Clifford said.
A statement to the Caymanian Compass from Carnival Cruise Lines reads, ‘Carnival Corporation & plc has been in discussions with the Grand Cayman government and the Port Authority for the past year as it relates to enhancing the cruise facilities in George Town and those discussions are ongoing.’
Mr. Clifford continued, ‘When we started these negotiations we agreed that we would keep the identity of the parties confidential until the negotiations were completed.
‘What I can confirm is that the two parties that we started these negotiations with are still very much involved. In fact we are having a follow up meeting with them again this week’.
Mr. Glidden said the other party involved is Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, which were still in discussions with the Government. However, he said Carnival had pulled out when the Government asked them to pay for the relocation of the cargo dock.
‘If the Opposition was interested in giving the public the facts on this matter they could have asked about it instead of making statements which they knew were speculative at best,’ Mr. Clifford said.
He has said he believes the provision of berthing for four cruise ships in George Town will raise the standard of the cruise product, enhance the experience of cruise guests, increase economic returns by allowing those guests to stay longer and increase the money they spend and the range of activities they can participate in.