The economy in Grand Bahama is still dismal in many quarters.

There are some positive signs in truth, but generally much has to be done via investments, marketing and a general heightening of the attractiveness of lead city, Freeport.

There is certainly a need for feel-good stories.

One such is the Port Lucaya Marketplace. The place is pristine and humming with activities. The investors have put in place a culture of immense improvement, regarding the physical and human aspects of the massive hospitality product. We congratulate investor Peter Hunt and his associates.

The marketplace product is enabling those at the Grand Bahama Port Authority to breath just a bit more easily in the face of criticisms regarding investment efforts. The Minister of Grand Bahama Michael Darville, The Freeport News understands, is encouraged.

The uplifting touristic environment at the marketplace is very much to his liking.

The Prime Minister of the country, Perry Christie was pleased when the deal was done between the GBPA and Huntâ s group. Now, there is growing satisfaction in the business arrangement.

Without a doubt, the Port Lucaya Marketplace has enhanced the Freeport (and wider island) brand.

There is enthusiasm within the marketplace family. Hunt is reaching out to industry partners.

â While we are more than pleased with our progress thus far, we are aware that more work needs to be done in attracting shoppers to Port Lucaya Marketplace. In this regard, our aim is to continuously work with officials of the Freeport Harbour Company in marketing the Port Lucaya Marketplace brand via a dedicated kiosk to Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Balearia Express and the Grand Celebration to make visitors more aware of Port Lucaya Marketplace and its amazing offerings. Along that path, we recently signed a contract with Onboard Media and PPI Group, the marketing bodies for the aforementioned to advertise on all Carnival Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Grand Celebration Cruise Ships coming into Freeport, where a 60-second DVD clip, promoting and advertising the marketplace will be played in each cabin, along with a full page advertisement in the on-board magazines. Additionally, a marketplace information map will be distributed to every passenger who disembarks the ship. We are also in the process of publishing a Port Lucaya Marketplace magazine that will promote the business, straw markets and the arts and crafts sector,⠝ informed Hunt.

It has become crystal clear, that the present brand of the Port Lucaya Marketplace is vital to Freeport and to a significant degree, the entire island of Grand Bahama.

The Port Lucaya Marketplace is indeed a feel-good story for the island of Grand Bahama.

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