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After re-development, ORIA duty free shops will be tendered

| 07/10/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS Business): Although it is still quite far off, the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) have said that once renovations to the departures area of the Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) are completed, as part of the major redevelopment of Cayman’s main airport, the duty free concession areas will be put to tender. The CIAA said the move comes as part of its plans to improve operational sustainability to support the airport redevelopment and expansion programme; which includes renovations to passenger processing areas, expansion of the departures hall and the provision of attractive commercial spaces.

The authority said this week that it is making good strides with its airport re-development plans. Since the public presentation of the Outline Business Case (OBC) in July and the subsequent approval of the OBC by Cabinet, the project team has kicked off the procurement process and architectural and engineering firms are currently engaged in the RFP process for the design of the terminal building. The CIAA hopes to select the best proposal and award a contract by end of October 2014. Estimated start of construction is June 2015.

Commenting on the process, Chief Executive Officer Albert Anderson explained that the airport’s redevelopment must achieve two important objectives.

“On the one hand the CIAA is endeavouring to deliver a modern airport facility that provides a safe and pleasant passenger experience and offers the space and amenities expected of a first world destination,” he said. “At the same time from an operational perspective, the Authority is also responsible for implementing strategies which are designed to improve profitability and maximize revenue generation for all stakeholders. Consequently, along with the structural enhancements, the CIAA is amending its business model to align with industry standards and is introducing measures that are designed to improve sustainability over the longer term.”

Earlier this month, the authority issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) inviting qualified consultants to tender for the development of a revenue enhancement strategy for commercial services at ORIA. The successful firm will be required to develop a strategy that includes financial analysis of current and future revenue streams, business planning and procurement practices, as well as an evaluation of existing concessions operations and opportunities.

With air arrivals reaching record breaking highs and further annual growth projected to continue, the airport’s redevelopment has become critical to the Islands tourism industry. The CIAA is following an aggressive timeline and where strategically viable, has undertaken several aspects of the redevelopment concurrently.

“While the process of identifying consultants to work with us on the development of a revenue enhancement strategy is pursued, we have proactively gone ahead and notified existing concession holders of the impending changes and opportunities that will be available to them in the future” said Bianca Moore-Downey, Acting Chief Customer and Commercial Services Officer. “The CIAA has enjoyed a long and harmonious relationship with these companies and we are immensely grateful for the quality service and convenient shopping experiences they have provided for passengers over the years. As we move forward with plans for the expanded departures area, the overarching goal is to ensure that partnerships with concessionaires aligns with the authority’s new business model, so that the commercial transformation is mutually beneficial and provides the best possible experience for travelers.”

Although it is still sometime in the future, CIAA said the management and Board of Directors are excited by the prospect of tendering all concession spaces.

“By following this process which is in keeping with international best practice, the objective is to ensure that all interested retailers, including the existing concession holders, will have an equal opportunity to submit a response to the RFP in a fair and transparent manner,” Anderson said.

Outlining the future opportunities, he confirmed that the invitation to tender would be issued once renovations to the departures area are completed.

“When the time comes the CIAA will actively be seeking a variety of high quality retail concepts that will not only exceed the escalating expectations of travellers, but will provide an optimum mix of international and local products which reflect the charm and individuality of the Cayman Islands. The CIAA is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the planned airport redevelopment caters to the Islands current and future travelling needs and we look forward to developing a top-class facility that the country can be proud of,” he said.

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Category: Local Business, Stay-over tourism, Tourism

Comments (1)

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  1. BB says:

    I will wait and see if the opportunity will go to young Caymanian business people to at least have a chance to put a bid in , instead of DART having all the stores. WILL WILL SEE.

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