The project is projected to increase Bahamian GDP by US$9.15 billion over a 22-year period (Image: Kemuel Stubbs)
Holistica Destinations, a joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Mexican company ITM Group, is to invest US$300 million in a new project in Freeport, The Bahamas. The project will span two locations in the city, comprising of Harbour Village, an expansion to the cruise terminal, and the Lucaya Property, a beachfront destination.
"Holistica Destinations knows how to build destinations that bridge an area’s authentic culture for the enjoyment of cruise and land-based travellers in a way they long for, while simultaneously allowing destinations to stay true to themselves in an environmentally conscious way," said Robert Shamosh, CEO of Holistica Destinations. "Our overall vision for this new endeavour is a long-term relationship with the community and the government of The Bahamas; essentially a marriage where we will grow together in prosperity welcoming millions of visitors to the destination for years to come."
The first phase of the Lucaya property will include the construction of a 526-room hotel, shopping village, spa and wellness centre. The destination will also feature a water and adventure theme park, a 40,000-square-foot convention centre and several restaurants and bars.
Harbour Village will be nine miles west of the Lucaya Property at the cruise terminal in Freeport Harbour. Features of the development will include shopping and dining venues, beach areas and shore excursions.
“Great destinations are a vitally important part of the recipe to deliver unforgettable cruise vacations. With our partnership in Holistica Destinations, we believe that this new development will create a world-class experience for guests and deliver renewed hope for the rebirth of Grand Bahama,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “We thank the government of The Bahamas for its continued partnership and shared vision to create a premier attraction which will be a catalyst for economic growth in the destination.”
Several further developments will also take part in Freeport with the participation of Bahamian companies, including a transport hub with infrastructure for water ferries and ground transportation such as buses, vans and jeeps.
A study in May 2019 by analysts Tourism Economics projected that the development would result in an increase of B$9.1 billion (US$9.15 billion) to Bahamian GDP. The project expects to create 3,000 direct jobs during peak construction and operation periods, helping The Bahamas receive more than two million travellers annually once completed.
“We thank Holistica Destinations for investing in Grand Bahama,” said the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Hubert Minnis. “This project will result in employment, business and entrepreneurial opportunities for the residents of Grand Bahama.”
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