The Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation addressed concerns raised by the Minister of State for Legal Affairs, the Hon. Jomo Campbell voiced in the House Assembly that the opening of the Nassau Cruise Port could lead to the slowdown of business on Bay Street.

Cooper said, “we have strategically positioned the exit of the Nassau Cruise Port so that it goes into the Straw Market. We are increasing daily the number of passengers coming to Nassau through the Nassau Cruise Port. We’re now at a record level of over 30,000 a day and we expect this number to increase exponentially over time after the port opens. And therefore I expect that entrepreneurs, existing straw vendors and new shops will be created. I expect that this port is going to be the catalyst to drive development and to drive the revitalization of Bay Street.”

The Minister went further stating, “a rising tide will float all boats. We’re going to get more tourists coming to our shores. We’re going to get more cruise tourists landing at the Nassau Cruise Port. And, you know, if we think about our own behaviour as tourists, when we arrive we don’t stay in the airport, we don’t stay in the cruise port, we don’t stay at our hotel, that’s only the entryway. We venture out and therefore we encourage Bahamians to create more product, more tours, more experiences and this will be the draw for our tourists and our guests to come out of the Port and to spend more money. So I’m confident that this will uplift the entire area.”