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Skerritt lauds partnership on new cruise pier construction

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Tourism minister Richard Skerritt is suggesting that the government is choosing the best method in pursuing the construction of the new cruise ship pier by partnering with Jay Cashman Inc. a firm out of Boston, rather than partnering with one of the cruise companies as some islands have done. 

Former tourism minister Dwyer Astaphan in a previous interview with WINN FM, disclosed that Royal Caribbean Cruises wanted to build the new pier some years ago at a cheaper cost than the current projected costs of $US31 million. “I am not saying that you have to agree that they build a pier, but you have to listen closely and give them every fair opportunity to be your partner because you stand potentially to gain far more from holding hands with the cruise line than it is with some third party that want to build a pier and give it back to you after 30 years,” Astaphan said. 

However, while speaking at a tourism function recently, Mr. Skerritt noted that the BVI is now being affected by a decision to pursue their cruise pier expansion through a cruise company. “The (BVI) government in their wisdom decided to enter directly into a relationship with two significant cruise lines and now the largest supplier of business to the British Virgin Islands has just announced that they are pulling out the existing 175,000 passengers that they put in the British Virgin Islands as we speak in their present data from 2014 because they refuse to be seeking permission to berth at a pier that is owned by a competing cruise line,” Skerritt said. 

Jay Cashman Inc will establish a company in St. Kitts called Cruise Port Development Ltd that will be responsible for raising all of the financing required. SCASPA will obtain the seabed rights for the area where the pier will be built from the Urban Development Corporation and Cruise port development will grant to SCASPA an operating lease for 30 years to operate the new pier. 

Hear Skerritt and Astaphan

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