11Club Med is looking to expand its property on San Salvador and the government is “actively” reviewing its proposal, Guardian Business can reveal.
While the exact terms of the proposal are unknown, several Cabinet minsters confirmed that there is one before the government, and if approved, it could mean “significant tourism growth and development.”
The proposed expansion is expected to include an increase of the property’s room inventory through the construction of condominiums and cottages.
“Club Med executives presented us with a proposal for their San Salvador property that wants to add more rooms to its inventory. We are reviewing that as they are asking for certain incentives. That’s ongoing,” according to Philip Brave Davis, deputy prime minister and minister of public works and urban development.
“We are now considering their proposal and we hope to turn that around very quickly so they can decide on the way forward within their business plan. The expansion consists of several more rooms with condominiums and cottages. Hopefully, that would be privately owned but still a part of the hotel inventory.”
Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, told Guardian Business the proposal could be classified as a “major expansion” for the property.
He noted that one of the areas the government is looking at is ensuring that San Salvador has an adequate fuel supply and that it could accommodate direct flights from Europe.
If approved, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe believes the expansion would lead to “significant tourism growth and development”.
He also pointed out that Club Med continues to be a major employer on the island of San Salvador.
“The truth is it will mean significant tourism growth and development. Don’t forget Club Med has been a major employer for San Salvador, at one point they created full employment where people had more than one job. It’s one of those places that offers you tremendous experience,” Wilchcombe explained.
“It’s uniquely situated and it had an appeal to the French market in particular. They want to build additional hotel rooms and boutique hotels. They want to add to the lure of what takes place on San Salvador. It’s a major development and if all goes well, I believe it will be one of the spots in the southern Bahamas that will compliment what is happening in the central and northern Bahamas.”
Meanwhile, Davis who is also the member of Parliament for the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, admitted to Guardian Business that job creation on those islands has not been going very well because there hasn’t been much investment activity. It’s something that the government is looking to address in the upcoming fiscal year, he noted.
“At the moment, potential investors don’t see any attractiveness. We are going to aggressively improve the infrastructure in the next fiscal year and hopefully that will attract more investment.
“In the Family Islands, particularly Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, tourists do not come regularly so we need to find work for our residents to do apart from government-based employment and that has been a challenge. We’ve also been challenged in attracting investments because people want to go where they will make money.”
Guardian Business Reporter