Global Ports Holding (GPH) executives took part in a series of government-endorsed stakeholder meetings last week to discuss both the community benefits and collaboration opportunities within the St. Lucia Cruise Port project.
According to a press release, the partnership between the Government of St. Lucia and Global Ports Holding includes a 30-year concession agreement for cruise-related operations at Castries and Soufriere Bay.
“We’re extremely excited to work with key stakeholders across the Saint Lucian cruise and tourism sectors,” said Colin Murphy, GPH head of business development, Americas.
“We have received such a warm welcome and very positive responses from the groups we’ve spoken to. We recognize that establishing strong relationships with key stakeholders is a critical part of ensuring that this partnership is successful for everyone, which is why we made having these conversations our immediate priority after signing the Memorandum of Understanding.”
Under the agreement, Global Ports Holding will upgrade Berth 1 at Pointe Seraphine in order to accommodate Oasis-class ships. This is expected to increase the number of passengers coming to St. Lucia from the annual peak of 790,000 to over a million passengers per year.
The operations are also expected to reduce traffic congestion and improve the guest experience by introducing new ferries and ferry routes to Banannes Bay, LPC and Pointe Seraphine.
GPH will continue to invest in the expansion of cruise port infrastructure as well as cultural and heritage tourism sites by developing the Fisherman’s Village, Vendor’s Arcade and Soufriere Bay.
“Over the last few days, we’ve shared our ideas and received great feedback about the needs and wants of the community and the things that we need to consider,” said Murphy.
“We know that there is a lot of work to do, but we also know that we can’t do it alone. Your success is our success and recognizing that, everyone’s voice is important. There are many seats at this table.”
GPH will also provide financial relief to the Government of St. Lucia and the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Port Authority (SLASPA) by taking over approximately $20 million in SLASPA debt.