Baha Mar Brings Major Challenges

Thursday 30th, September 2010 / 08:28 Published by

The Baha Mar development is viewed by many as a vital project for the revitalization of the Bahamian economy, however, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham stated that “Baha Mar is no saviour”.

Ingraham pointed to a few issues surrounding the multi-billion Cable Beach development.

If it goes forward Baha Mar would be the largest single resort development in the Bahamas adding a significant number of rooms to be filled but without the branding of an internationally recognized major hotelier behind it.

Ingraham said that currently Baha Mar has closed the casino and approximately 1,800 hotel rooms due to the traditionally slow tourist season, pointing out that if the resort was unable to fill those rooms, the larger development would only be an expansion of the same challenges.

Furthermore, there is still the unresolved controversial issue concerning the substantial number of work permits for Chinese workers to be brought in to build the resort. The Chinese are requesting 8,000 foreign labour work permits and there would be no transfer of knowledge to the local workforce.

Ingraham said he does believe that there are no Bahamian workers with the necessary skills to be involved in the construction of the Baha Mar resort. He said it would be setting a bad precedent to allow the construction of 3,500 new rooms with foreign labour exclusively.

Meanwhile, the government can not officially approve the project until the issue of the $200 million outstanding loan with Scotiabank is resolved. An issue which the prime minister questions should concern him on other levels.

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