Yachting Highlighted As Potential New Tourism Niche

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Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Port Inc., David Jean-Marie (left) in discussion with Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson (second from left), Senator Peter Gilkes and the Captain of the White Dolphin (right). (A. Miller/BGIS)??

The Barbados Port Inc. has invested approximately $2,000,000 in upgrading infrastructure at the Inner Basin of the Careenage as Government continues to facilitate the development of yachting as a new niche market for Barbados’ tourism product.

Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, made this disclosure today, noting that between the last 18 months and two years, the Barbados Port Inc., had done substantial work in developing the infrastructure at the Inner Basin of the Careenage to facilitate such activity.

He made these comments, this morning, after touring two of the 12 yachts that participated in the Classic Trans-Atlantic Race to Barbados. The yachts are berthed in the Inner Basin of the Careenage. Eleven yachts have already arrived in Barbados, while the last one is still at sea and expected to arrive within another four days.

"The Port has done substantial work in developing the infrastructure. We have put enough buoys to berth 40 yachts, [and] we are going to be putting additional buoys in the outer careenage," he said, noting the design for the latter would accommodate approximately 50 vessels.

Mr. Hutson added that water and electrical installations were also carried out along the two sides of the Careenage, extending to the outer Careenage. "That is important because we need to have fresh water available to the yachting crew as the vessels are berthed. They also need to be able to power in to an electrical supply," the Minister said.

In addition, infrastructural works would also see the establishment of canteen and recreational facilities to accommodate occupants of yachts berthed in the area. However, the Minister pointed out that while $2 million was being spent on enhancing the infrastructure, revenue would be recovered through berthing fees.

He explained that the swing bridge would be lifted four times a day to facilitate the passage of yachts into the Inner Basin of the Careenage, and to attract visitors. Mr. Hutson noted that the bridge could be lifted outside of the scheduled times to facilitate yachts which went out of the Inner Basin and wanted to return. "There would be an additional fee for that purpose. This outlay of $2 million is an investment that the Port will then be making some money on. It is another source of income for the Port," he concluded.

Mr. Hutson further disclosed that additional work was planned for the Shallow Draft, but stressed that special consideration was being given to the north swells which affected the area. "Those north swells create some problems inside the Shallow Draft, [so] we have to get the engineering designs right so we don’t create a facility that will be destroyed once the north swells come in," he said.

Mr. Hutson added that Baird and Associates were contracted to work on the project as the company was able to generate computer models to look at the various wave actions likely to affect the area.

The Minister was accompanied by Harbour Master, Richard Alleyne, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Port Inc., David Jean-Marie, Director of the Barbados Port Inc., Captain George Fergusson, Senator Peter Gilkes and other officials during this morning’s tour.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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