Carnival Cruise Line is planning to build a “mega” cruise port in East Grand Bahama, the Bahamian government announced on Wednesday.
The port is expected to be completed in late 2021, and during the construction phase will employ some 1,000 people, according to the country’s government.
In addition the construction jobs, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said the project will benefit residents and small businesses in the area.
“There is a lot of spinoff in terms of indirect job opportunities. Traditionally, the hardest thing in getting an economy started is trying to find that first investor,” he said. “Historically, once you find that first investor, for some reason everything else just follows.”
Finance Minister Peter Turnquest said residents will have the opportunity to get into business in areas they are familiar with, such as bone fishing, eco-tour operations and deep-sea fishing.
“East Grand Bahama is a very unique, pristine ecological gem that we have and because of the distance, it has not been exploited,” he said.
The finance minister added that the project is especially needed in East Grand Bahama, an area that has “been neglected and ignored.”
“It now gives them an opportunity to participate in this Grand Bahama experience,” he said. “We’re going to have to re-import Grand Bahamians back to the island to keep up with the demand. We’re very excited about where we are and what we foresee before us. We’re excited to turn this economy around and bring families back together and create prosperity for these people.”
Government did not provide the cost of the port in its press release, but online reports have estimated it to be “several” hundred million dollars.