Sunday, October 19, 2014

Clock ticks on Chamber’s cruise survey

Cayman News Service
October 16, 2014

The local Chamber of commerce is urging its members to take its on-line survey about the proposed cruise berthing facility in government before the web-based questionnaire closes at the end of this month. The Cayman Islands Government is proposing to develop a cruise berthing facility in the George Town harbour with two finger piers to accommodate the next generation of mega cruise ships. The construction of this new facility will require dredging of the sea floor, land reclamation activities, construction of retaining walls, drilling and blasting.
The debate about constructing cruise berthing facilities in George Town has raged for many years and the former UDP government committed to develop the facility during the last administration but the project was derailed as a result of a number of issues, but mostly because of the government’s failure to follow due process in its efforts to find a private sector partner to not only construct but also finance the project.

The issue has however remained controversial and although the cruise tourism sector is extremely eager to see the piers built not everyone in the tourism business is supportive and the wider public is divided over the need for such a costly project. Even though government will be seeking a partner to finance the project in the first instance, the investment will be recoupled from the cruise ship passenger fees.
The PPM is committed to the project and has already spent several million dollars on consultants, the strategic business cases and the environmental impact assessment but the Chamber is seeking a definitive position on the project from its more than 700 members.

“This survey has been developed to seek your views on the proposed project and the likely potential impacts associated with the construction and operational phases,” said Johann Moxam as he urged people to participate in the survey and make their voice heard. “All information provided will be kept confidential and will assist the Chamber Council with determining the membership's collective view on this proposed infrastructure project.”
See the survey here.

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