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China agrees to finance Bahamas luxury resort

  • 30-Jul-10 12:39
  • Bahamas
  • Business Week Travel

With declining number of travellers taking Bahamas holidays, reduced foreign investment and falling occupancy rates during the global economic crisis, China has agreed to lend a helping hand to boost tourism to the island with a brand new mega-resort.

China agrees to finance Bahamas luxury resort

As the Bahamas continue with efforts to rebuild their travel and tourism sector, the future of Bahamas holidays now looks brighter as China agrees to finance and build a mega-resort on the Caribbean island which had been put on hold two years ago.

The Bahr Mar project was put on hold in 2008 when Harrah's Entertainment, the U.S casino operator, pulled out because the organisation of the new development was taking too long.

The Bahamas luxury resort is now set to go ahead as the developer, Barh Mar Resorts Ltd, announced on Tuesday that China's economic planning agency had approved the development of the complex.

The new accommodation and entertainment complex will provide Bahamas holidays for thousands of visitors to the island and will be located on 1,000 acres along Cable Beach in Nassau, the island's capital city.

Project developers have been negotiating with Chinese investors since April 2008 and earlier this year, a Chinese bank finally agreed to finance the Bahamas holidays complex with $2.5 billion. The resort will be built by Beijing's state-owned construction company and will feature six Bahamas hotels comprising 3,500 rooms and numerous condos.

Before the building and construction begins, authorisation from the Bahamas Government is required. Political leaders and tourism officials have voiced their support in the new resort as it will not only boost the number of travellers booking Bahamas holidays, but it will also provide 11,000 jobs for island residents, with 6,000 of these positions on a permanent.

During Tuesday's discussions, the Cabinet office stated that the Chinese authorisation for the ambitious project will be formally confirmed on 18th August 2010.

The luxury resort will feature a convention centre, retail shops, the Caribbean's largest casino, and a golf course for avid players on Bahamas holidays.

The Bahr Mar resort will compete against Atlantis, a mega-resort situated on the 800-acre Paradise Island which is located just off Nassau.

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