Prime Minister David Thompson (second from right), on a tour of the??Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. At left is real esteate developer and project manager, Paul Altman. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Legislation related specifically to cruise ships staying longer in port in Barbados, including allowing them to open their casinos, is "already under way".

This disclosure was made recently by Prime Minister David Thompson, as he addressed the media after a tour of the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, which is under construction at Holetown, St. James. ??

Mr. Thompson also revealed that a task force on cruise tourism had been recently established by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministry of International Transport.

"We had major initiatives in the 1990s to re-orient the duty free sector in Barbados, arising out of the foreign exchange committee and those have served us well; but it is clear that we need to look at all aspects of cruise tourism.

"The work of the Barbados Tourism Authority is in relation to marketing, but we need to look at our product development and we need to look at where we want to go in terms of cruise tourism, and what we are competing against," the Prime Minister observed.

He explained that the task force would be looking at possible entry points for cruise ships other than Bridgetown, and noted that a facility such as the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre, would be an asset.

"Barbados is viewed as a destination of high quality, a once in a lifetime scenario, so when we position ourselves there, it means that we have to have the product and the opportunities for persons at that level to engage in high quality shopping," Mr. Thompson suggested.

He commended Paul Altman and his team for undertaking the project, which he said was going to transform Holetown, which, according to the Prime Minister, was in need of renovation for a long time.

Eighty percent of the commercial aspect of the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre is expected to be opened to the public by December, while on the residential side, eight of 57 planned town houses and condominiums are currently being built.

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