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.

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  1. I note that the Bahamian Finance Minister uses the word “exploited”. In itself, “exploit” has a negative connotation, although I imagine the Minister’s intended context was perhaps the opposite. However, when considering any port development, included that proposed in Grand Cayman, which invites and relies on cruise lines direct involvement for infrastructure financing, “exploit” should be taken in its most negative context. Ultimately, any cruise line which is ready to invest heavily in our proposed port development has its own interests first and foremost! That will never change!

    When the after-effects of our (proposed) port re-development damages our environment to the point that it’s of little interest to visitors, the cruise lines will simply find another location to “exploit”.

    Our powers that be (and other supporters of the proposed mega-cruise port) fail to acknowledge the economic predictions that the mega-sized cruise ship trend is essentially a “short-term” industry fad. Some cruise lines which initially intended to build more mega-liners have put those on hold. One underlying factor is that when the “mega-lux” effect has waned, passengers will return to the present “smaller” class of cruise ships, simply to enjoy less crowded cruises. Do our leaders and their supporters of this project read The Economist or The WSJ? I bet I know that answer!!