The $25million development agreement to extend the Carnival Cruise Center Port in Grand Turk was signed on Wednesday between the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and Carnival Cruise.
Premier Hon. Washington Misick, during the ceremony, stated that negotiations to extend the port to accommodate the bigger boats that Carnival has changed over to started back in May of this year. He said it took 11 gruelling meetings and many negotiations to arrive at the agreement.
He said the agreement will see the start of new partnerships and impact the overall economy.
“We waited for this since March 2020, and this is a great opportunity to sign the extension’s development agreement to undertake the works that will lead Carnival coming back to Turks and Caicos,” Premier Misick said.
Premier Misick said the project will be a huge improvement from what was before, which he said would add much value to tourism on that island.
For his part, Giora Israel, Senior Vice President Global Port & Destination Development, Carnival Corp was elated at the milestone, stating that the agreement was mutually beneficial.
“We look to having a long and fruitful relationship going forward,” the premier said. “We worked on something that we would be proud of for many years to come. We have had a long partnership of 20 years, and this partner is just getting better…new horizons, new opportunities.”
Israel stated that the Turks and Caicos Islands should expect ships docking at the cruise centre that would accommodate three times the passenger size as against the ones that made calls at the facility before the pandemic.
“Within 90 days from today, we may be expecting ships that will carry three times the passengers of that ship (prior ones), and that’s part of the investment.
Israel also took time to commend the employees at the port, who he said did a good job at maintaining the facility after it was closed. He also extended gratitude to the people of Grand Turk, who he said welcomed Carnival as part of the community.
“The community has embraced us, and we have embraced the community…the business community, and we need to look at this as a partnership. I want to thank everybody who lives here in Grand Turk for partner-shipping with us, and a partnership in the future that we will all benefit for many years to come,” he said.
His Excellency Governor Nigel Daken was also on hand to affix his signature to the documents, along with Premier Misick and representatives of Carnival. Also in attendance were Deputy Premier Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Her Excellency Deputy Govern Anya Williams, Minister of Tourism Hon. Josephine Connolly, Works Minister Hon. Akierra Misick, Health Minister Hon. Jamell Robinson, Energy Minister Hon. Otis Morris and Attorney General Hon. Rhondalee Brathwaite-Knowles.