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South Florida-to-Bahamas cruises to resume earlier than expected; news comes against backdrop of ongoing Port development



#TheBahamas, June 19, 2021 – Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, told House Members that he was “delighted to report” that cruises from South Florida to The Bahamas will resume, in many instances, far earlier than anticipated.

This includes cruises from the Port of Miami, the cruise capital of the world. Minister D’Aguilar was making his contribution to the 2021/2022 National Budget Debate in the House of Assembly.

“As you know, Mr. Speaker, the American Center for Disease Control or CDC, has prevented cruises from restarting for some time and, given the CDC’s seemingly disinterest in helping the cruise industry to get back on track, cruise industry executives were telling me a couple of months back that, ‘don’t expect cruises, starting from the United States, to resume until September, possibly November or even just before Christmas.’

“Well, Mr. Speaker, Royal Caribbean has announced that six of its award winning ships will begin sailing from major U.S. cruise ports in Florida and Texas in July and August.”

Minister D’Aguilar said the cruise line’s “comeback” will kick off on July 2 in Miami with the Freedom of the Seas embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at Coco Cay in The Bahamas.

“By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across The Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.  In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year’s end.”

Minister D’Aguilar said Carnival Cruise Line has announced a similar ‘return to service’ schedule.

“And so, Mr. Speaker, I can confidently announce that the road to resumption of cruises in our region is underway, in fact, it is imminently about to happen so Bay Street and other companies and individuals involved in making a living from cruise passengers can begin, finally, to get ready to restart their livelihoods.”

Mr. D’Aguilar told House Members that, in 2019, a record-breaking 5.4 million cruise passengers visited The Bahamas contributing almost $100 million to the Treasury in Head Tax, while pumping almost $400 million directly into the hands of everyday Bahamians, small and medium-sized businesses, and other businesses.

“With the cruise business just starting to get going again, I want to remind everyone just how economically impactful cruise passengers were for Bahamians since this $400 million in spend typically does not pass through some middleman but, passes directly from the visitor to the Bahamian with an immediate ability to spend, as cash, with no monies owed!,” Minister D’Aguilar said.

Minister D’Aguilar said the news comes amidst the backdrop of the “tremendous work underway at the Nassau Cruise Port.” Located at the Prince George Dock, the Cruise Port is undergoing a much-needed expansion and upgrade with $250 million planned to be spent “to bring about this incredible transformation.” New and expanded berths are currently under construction; an iconic arrivals hall will be built next, followed by a Junkanoo Museum, a Coral Reef attraction and an amphitheatre – all to be used to promote Bahamian culture and emphasize the importance of the environment to the almost 4 million visitors expected to utilize the beautiful new Nassau Cruise Port once it is completed in 2022.

Mr. D’Aguilar said: “This Nassau Cruise Port Project will not cost the Bahamian taxpayer a dime since private sector money will be used to finance its construction and operation.  Only Bahamian citizens will be allowed to own and operate stores/stalls, restaurants and other businesses in the Nassau Port area, not to mention the vastly improved working conditions for taxis, tour buses and other excursion operators.”

The Tourism and Aviation Minister said the fees earned by the government from the Port will increase from approximately $2 million each year to approximately $6 million each year since the government will now receive the VAT on the passenger facility charge paid by each visitor to the Port.

“So, we getting a new and expanded port, it won’t cost the Treasury a dime, the Port will be exclusively available to Bahamian small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, ground transportation and excursion operators will benefit from better working conditions, the port will be managed, as it is right now, by an all-Bahamian team.

“I am extremely optimistic about the redevelopment of the Cruise Port of Nassau and I am convinced it will be a huge success for The Bahamas, ultimately bringing more passengers to Nassau and thereby, positively impacting the lives and livelihoods of scores of Bahamians at-large,” Mr. D’Aguilar added.

By Matt Maura

Release: BIS

Bahamas News

Soca Warriors crush  Bahamas at home



By Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors dominated the Bahamas at home, at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, for the 2022/2023 Concacaf Nations League on Friday, with a 3-0 victory.

The Soca Warriors struck their first blow within the first 5 minutes of the game, with Kareem Moses making the first shot in the top left corner of the net giving T&T one to the Bahamas’ zero (1-0).

Soon after, in about 26 minutes, they made another shot giving them 2-0 away from home; the scorer Joevin Jones. By the 34th minute mark, the winning goal was made by Ryan Telfer, T&T now at three.

Neither team scored any additional goals as the match progressed despite attempts made by various players.

Trinidad’s win gives them 12 points through five matches.  Next match for the Soca Warriors is against  Nicaragua; that clash is set for Monday March 27 (at home in Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium), in a tussle of winner-take-all on the final match day.  The victor takes home a promotion to League A and a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.

Angus Eve, T&T’s head coach expressed that the job is only half done, keeping aware that more challenges are coming their way, one of which is the nearing match against Nicaragua who is one point ahead of the Warriors.

Meanwhile, The Bahamas will journey to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with hopes of emerging victorious there.

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Bahamas News

Find EVERY Child, Bahamas Gov’t tackling Learning Loss



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Prime Minister Davis and Minister Hanna-Martin visited the S.C. McPherson Junior High School to meet with students and educators today, and acknowledge the successful progress made in getting the kids back to school.

As a byproduct of the Covid-19 pandemic, just a year ago, a staggering percentage of students were absent. Since then, it has been a major priority of the Prime Minister to reduce the absenteeism rate and return every child to the classroom.

The Find Every Child Programme spans multiple ministries, a collaboration championed by educators determined to help these students see the hope and opportunity within school walls. S.C. McPherson is just one of the many success stories across the country – last year the school had 365 students who missed more than 50 percent of the school year and this year there are less than a handful of students in that same situation.

The Prime Minister recognizes the leadership and passion of Minister Hanna-Martin, the teachers, the administration, and community members who are involved in the Find Every Child initiative. He also is incredibly proud of the students for their perseverance and wants each one to know he believes in them.

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Bahamas News

7 million lives at risk because of salt 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



March 24, 2023 – Without immediate and widespread efforts at curbing salt intake, 7 million lives will be lost by 2030 according to the World Health Organization.  The warning follows the first-ever Global Report on Sodium Intake Reduction, which revealed that the world would not meet its sodium intake reduction target of 30 percent by 2025 on its current path.

With only 5% of WHO Member States protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies, the rest of the world must immediately implement ‘highly cost-effective sodium reduction policies to protect against some of the most common non-communicable diseases.

No Caribbean country was mentioned in the group of nine countries with comprehensive salt laws, but Barbados is currently set to make effective stringent regulations to govern food consumption and food quality. 

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said: 

“Most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The WHO calls on all countries to implement the ‘Best Buys’ for sodium reduction, and on manufacturers to implement the WHO benchmarks for sodium content in food.” 

North America and the Caribbean have the highest child diabetes statistics in the world, with the second highest prevalence in adults as well. In Turks and Caicos in particular, over 300 hundred residents have failing kidneys, a number described as ‘alarming’ by experts. Kidney disease is fueled in most cases by diabetes and hypertension. 

The WHO is then advising Governments to do four things:

  • Reformulating foods to contain less salt, and setting targets for the amount of sodium in foods and meals. 
  • Establishing public food procurement policies to limit salt or sodium-rich foods in public institutions such as hospitals, schools, workplaces, and nursing homes.
  • Front-of-package labelling that helps consumers select products lower in sodium.
  • Behaviour change communication and mass media campaigns to reduce salt/sodium consumption.

With these measures in place, the salt reduction target can still be achieved, according to the WHO. 

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