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New Cruise Terminal in Santo DomingoJune 4, 2007 By: David Eisen Travel Agent
World Bank earmarks $21 million for project
Tourism in the Dominican Republic may soon get a bump, thanks in part to the munificent pockets of the World Bank. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a long-term financing package to Sans Soucí Ports, S.A. to expand, renovate and operate the Sans Soucí and Don Diego cruise ship terminals in Santo Domingo on the Ozama River. The $21 million sum being allocated by the IFC is intended to reintroduce cruising to the city, thereby spurring local tourism and the local economy.
This isn't the first time the IFC has appropriated funds for
the express intent of building up cruise facilities. Prior to
and for two of the three ports in
practice that the organization wants to continue. "We want to do
more," says Herbert Lai, senior investment officer in infrastructure for
the IFC and principal in the
people to destinations, spurs local economies and helps out the people who work
there, such as local merchants."
The IFC, although an arm of the World Bank, is different in
that it provides financing for private sector projects in emerging economies.
It also ensures that high environmental standards are maintained. In the case
the money will also be used to help clean the port.
Lisandro Macarrulla, president of the board of directors of
Sans Soucí Ports, says the IFC's financing will further enhance
as a "world-class tourism port." Royal Caribbean International has
already taken notice. The cruise line will commit Legend of the Seas to
the region beginning in December, when it will homeport in the Sans Soucí
terminal and operate seven-night southern
cruises. "One of the primary reasons we chose to homeport a ship in the
Caribbean International's vice president of sales and marketing for Latin
America and the
us the capability of having the Vision class adequately supported for
That the ship is set to homeport in
"People might fly in a day or two ahead of their cruise and, maybe, stay a
day after," says IFC's Lai, "which means they will spend more
Cruise Lines Working With IFC
Financing cruise terminal projects has been vital to the
growth and sustainability of the cruise industry. In tandem with organizations
like the IFC, the cruise lines have also used their money to finance projects.
In March, Carnival Corp. signed an agreement to build and operate a cruise
terminal on the
million facility, to be called
and should be completed by 2009. Within five years, the terminal is expected to
receive 225 cruise ship calls and 500,000 passengers annually.
While the Don Diego terminal has already gone through
remodeling via an initial capital investment by Sans Soucí Ports, the Sans
Soucí terminal was razed and is currently under construction. It is scheduled
for completion in November just prior to the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Legend
of the Seas.