Increasing its support to post-hurricane efforts, Balearia executives shared plans to assist with Grand Bahama’s restoration after the historic Dorian made landfall September 1.
Managing Director, Mario Otero along with Guest Services’ Director, J. T. Taylor spoke with media recently – Tuesday, October 22 – announcing that not only are they optimistic about the island’s recovery, but Balearia has added a new sailing day to relieve the heavy load of cargo being shipped for distribution.
Otero and Taylor say they have high hopes for the reopening of the Grand Lucayan Resort, which they expect will attract more vessels to the island and as a result will boost tourism.
“We believe that now it’s going to start a period for Grand Bahama, a new season with the island and new opportunities with investors,” said Otero.
“We hope that the government will close the deal for the hotel soon and that is our main point, because we would like to have the hotel up-and-running so that it can bring in more vessels to The Bahamas and have more daily sailings, because that is our business.
“Our business is transportation and if the destination is in a good shape, then we are in good shape. If the destination is in a good mood, we are in a good mood.
“We like to work with the destination because without our destination, we are not the company that we are.
“I think, and I believe that Grand Bahama will come back in a different mode. It will be successful in the future and there is a lot of good things to come to the community,” he added.
“We saw that there was a necessity and we were sailing four days a week, so right now we implemented a new extra sailing, and we are sailing to Grand Bahama on Saturdays.
“We implemented a new special for those on specific days with a 50 percent off so everyone that wants to travel on a Saturday will have a 50 percent off and if they want to travel any other day in the week, they have other discounts available too.
“We were transporting passengers complimentary depending on the different entities that was reaching out to us for necessities and we also did services transporting Biminites complimentary as well,” Otero said.
Noting that he is confident in The Bahamas and Balearia’s relationship, the managing director added that the company has upgraded its system after hearing some concerns made by the Bahamian people.
“Since 2011 we have been working in this community, particularly upgrading our services and for sure the destination is our priority and Grand Bahama is our destination.
“We were analyzing that we were also having issues in the Customer Service Department and because of that reason, we implemented a new person in our company who is our new Guest Services’ Director. He oversees the overall procedure of the company, because we saw that too as a necessity.
“We have begun transporting people; we will be bringing in day trippers and also overnight guests, so that is good news for the island,” he added.
Meanwhile, Taylor, who is familiar with the island since the sailing of Discovery said, “We know that we have had some rough patches, but they were cleared up really fast. So, it’s a different atmosphere now.”
Having been promoted from the Cargo Department, Taylor added that while serving in his new capacity is important, his still finds himself in the cargo area dealing with more than the average 150 pallets.
He noted that due to the storm, the number of customers acquiring pallets increased to about 400 a day.
“It’s starting to calm down now and because of that, it’s only going to get better because there a fewer people to try to please and that is what’s nice now.
“I’m three weeks in the position that they created for me … I organized some things, because when I first got here I didn’t know the organization and it was way out of control. Persons would park wherever they needed to offload items, but we had organized that, we did it really well. People were happy with what we were doing, so I hope it continues to work,” Taylor noted.