Chamber takes pulse of members on cruise port

| 01/07/2015 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cruise ship tender (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS Business): With just a few days to go until the Department of Environment closes the public consultation on the draft Environmental Impact Assessment on the proposed cruise dock, the Chamber of Commerce is asking its members to complete a short survey on the issue. Officials from the local business organisation said the Chamber Council is currently reviewing the EIA on the project in the George Town harbour in order to develop a position on the matter.
Seeking input and feedback from all members, the short online survey takes only a few seconds to complete and is essentially asking members to indicate whether they support the project or not. The feedback will be combined with the results of a previous survey conducted on this subject earlier this year and a statement reflecting the majority of views from the membership will be issued.

The Chamber has members on both sides of the issue; stakeholders in the tourism sector are broadly conflicted as many business owners that depend on cruise business are not in favour of this particular plan or in some cases any development of cruise berthing.

The announcement of the last minute survey comes in the wake of comments this weekend from the immediate past president of the Chamber and current Council member, Johann Moxam, who raised a number of significant concerns about the proposal.

While the premier reiterated his commitment to the principle of a port in George Town, telling CNS that the PPM had been given a mandate for the project by winning the majority of votes in the 2013 election, it is not clear if all members of his government remain committed to the plan following the release of the EIA.

Although the researchers and scientists involved insist that seven Mile Beach is not at risk, a factor that the tourism minister had cited previously as a deal breaker for the project, the current proposed development plan for two finger piers in George Town has revealed the destruction of reefs and other marine life in the capital’s harbour that will be almost impossible to mitigate.

The extent of the direct damage to the reef through dredging as well as the indirect destruction during and after construction is, for many, too high a price to pay for the cost of the project and the claimed benefits, which remain very much in question.


Category: Construction, Cruise Tourism, Local Business, Tourism

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