GIS – Independent Senator and Deputy President of the Senate, Mauricia Thomas-Francis, has commended the government on its initiative to make provisions for the facilitation of a berthing facility for mega cruise vessels.
Presenting at a sitting of the Senate on April 6, the senator stated that she recognized the significance of the initiative.
“I applaud the government for having the foresight to undertake such an important initiative. We have been told by the Minister for Tourism that while we have comparative advantage in attractions and beauty, we continue to underperform in the tourism sector. He also mentioned that following a 16 percent decline in 2016, we are experiencing 22 percent growth. We are also projecting a 19 percent growth in cruise ship arrivals and a 20 percent increase in cruise ship calls during the current period. Therefore, the extension of the berthing facility seems to have merit.”
The senator also remarked on the need for a comprehensive analysis so as to capitalize on the multitude of socio-economic benefits to be gained by the increase in visitor arrivals, and recuperate resources spent.
“We know that in a time of scarce resources we have to look at the best option that will ensure that we optimize every dollar spent,” she said.
In response, Sen. Hon. Ubaldus Raymond stated that many of the recommendations made by the senator had already been considered by the government, and that those not yet considered had been attentively noted.