Over the coming months, Freeport will witness a new era of development that is both transformational and unprecedented. With this, residents can expect to see population growth, significant economic injection, job creation and entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians.
Carnival’s formal announcement of its new cruise port on Grand Bahama, complemented by Royal Caribbean’s proposed redevelopment of the Lucayan Harbour announced in early April, made this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global Conference (STCG) the perfect platform from which to network, gather ideas and research industry trends to support sector related investments, ongoing training and capacity building undertakings.
It is said that, between the two industry giants, Freeport will see an overall investment of nearly $300 million, bringing about a wealth of entrepreneurial opportunities for Bahamians.
“The Seatrade Cruise Global Conference is the largest and most important industry event of the year. Industry leaders rely on insights shared for future direction on what we can expect for the upcoming maritime season from the major players,” commented Derek Newbold, Sr. Manager of Business Development for the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Invest Grand Bahama.
“Considering the major announcements made regarding Grand Bahama this year, in addition to investment promotion efforts, we focused on canvasing opportunities that would benefit licensees, especially small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. This way, we could empower them to take advantage of future opportunities created by either of the new developments.” he continued.
The four-day annual event is host to over 11,000 attendees, exhibitors and C-Level executives, spanning every sector of the cruise, maritime and tourism industries.
“Grand Bahama is the Logistics and Maritime capital of The Bahamas, therefore, STCG is an important event on our annual investment promotion calendar,” explained GBPA President, Ian Rolle.
“The maritime sector continues to be a very competitive industry, across all sectors. As a destination, Grand Bahama must keep pace with all aspects of the industry and consumer demands regardless of the nature, be it tourism, industrial, trade, information, etc. Competing ports and destinations continuously refine the narrative on how to service these customers. Grand Bahama must as well, and I believe we can do it just as good or better than any jurisdiction,” cited Rolle.
“STCG has literally become a global marketplace for the Maritime industry. And whilst we did not exhibit through our usual partnership with the Ministry of Tourism; we hosted a series of meetings with industry stakeholders, vendors and investment prospects. As a result of a key meeting, we are proud to announce our upcoming Aquila Cruise Excellence Training set for May 8. Many of the new ideas and contacts made during the conference will prove beneficial for new product development and packaging of tours, not only for existing businesses but new entrants into the tourism market as well,” Rolle concluded.