Concerned by the cruise port financing model

I think the article discussing the financial math of the reduced tax revenue if the port is built versus the status quo is a a great piece laying out the numbers being relied on to support the new port. I am puzzled (or maybe shocked is a better word) by the number of increased cruise passengers ‘anticipated’ if the port is built.

Currently 1.9 million passengers disembark. The ‘target’ increase is 2.5 million from year one of the project. That is an additional 600,000 cruisers per year, or 50,000 more PER MONTH every month of the year. If each new large ship arriving carries 6,000 passengers (I believe Oasis class carry around 6,000) there will have to be 10 of the large ships every month year round in addition to ships arriving now. And they have to start arriving Day 1.

How realistic is this? There appears to be no ‘wiggle room’ to maintain tax revenue. What if another Ivan hits the island and mass destruction occurs? What if the global economy suffers a meltdown? What if any contingency plans are in this financial model?

This article was the first I’ve read that clearly sets out the dollars and cents of this. I am not a Caymanian or resident so I don’t have a ‘dog in this fight’. But as a stayover for 26 years I love this island and its people. I can’t begin to imagine another 50,000 cruisers on the island every month (especially with soon-to-be lack of places to hang out like Royal Palms) and I can’t see a high probability of the financials working as hoped.

Cindy Smith

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