NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Nassau Cruise Port CEO Mike Maura said yesterday that the port operator’s $150 million investment in its upland works was specific to promoting authentic Bahamian experiences and putting Bahamian culture on the “front door” and enticing more visitors onshore.
Maura, who was speaking as a panelist on the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Invest conference in Miami, said: “On the cruise side of things, as a part of our development plan, the upland investment which is about $150 million is particular to authentic Bahamian experiences in retail, food and beverage and culture.
“I feel that it’s a really positive step we’re making to take our culture and have it right on the front door for the over 4 million cruise port visitors that we get.
“The port of Nassau is the busiest transit port on the planet and the most important tourism gateway to The Bahamas.
“Quite than feature luxury brands and franchises we’ve got put our culture on the front door of our visitors,” said Maura.
From an environmental stewardship perspective, Maura said the port operator can be eyeing a recycling program.
“One among the challenges our country has is we don’t have an efficient recycling program, but we’re going to be working on that.”
Maura also noted that the port operator can even incorporate 1.4 megawatts of solar into its energy generation mix.
He added that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cruise industry shutdown was “awakening” for the industry and destination.
“When cruise tourism stopped your entire downtown Nassau became a ghost town,” he said.
“There have been no tourists and it was impactful.
“Because the industry recovered it had a new appreciation for the destination.
“For those who were to seek out a silver lining, I feel it’s been a healthy appreciation amongst our partners and a greater working relationship,” said Maura.