Holistica Destinations, a new joint venture between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and privately held ITM Group, announced plans for a $300 million resort and port development in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The project includes two locations – the port terminal, to be called Harbour Village, and the current Grand Lucayan resort.
The first phase of the Lucaya property includes a 526-room hotel, shopping village, spa and wellness center, a massive water and adventure theme park, a 40,000-square-foot convention center, adventure activities such as zip lines and off-roading, restaurants and bars, entertainment and nightlife.
Harbour Village will be nine miles west of the Lucaya property at the cruise terminal in Freeport Harbor. The project will enhance the area and add multiple shopping and dining venues, beach areas and more.
“With our partnership in Holistica Destinations, we believe that this new development will create a world-class experience for guests and deliver renewed hope for the rebirth of Grand Bahama,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International.
Mauricio Hamui of ITM Group said the capacity for the harbor will be vastly expanded: “By the time we are finished in the winter of 2022, the port will be ready to host the largest cruise ships in the world.”
With the participation of Bahamian companies, development plans for Freeport also include a multi-modal transportation hub with infrastructure for water ferries and ground transportation including buses, vans and jeeps.
Holistica plans to work with local business owners and entrepreneurs as partners with opportunities both at Harbour Village and the Lucaya Property as well as additional shore excursions in Grand Bahama. The project includes ambitious plans for employment, job training, community investment and sustainable construction practices.
A May 2019 study by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, indicated that over a 22-year projection timeline, there would be a $9.1 billion increase in Bahamian GDP as a result of this project.
Additionally, the project anticipates creating 3,000 direct jobs during peak construction and operation periods. Once the development is completed, Grand Bahama should expect to welcome more than 2 million travelers annually.
In addition to the Freeport project, Holistica Destinations owns and operates destinations in Costa Maya, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
On June 24, 2019, RCCL and Mexico’s ITM Group created Holistica Destinations Ltd., a 50-50 joint venture to develop coastal destinations. The company aims “to use a holistic approach to generate significant economic growth for communities and local governments and preserve and sustain the area’s natural resources while offering a compelling experience for guests.”
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