The Duarte port, in Samaná, already has the necessary adjudication for the formal start of the works that will turn it into a cruise terminal and tourist facility area under the name of Arroyo Barril-Samaná port.
This was announced to the General Directorate of Public Private Alliances (DGAPP) and the Dominican Port Authority (Apordom). The company that will be in charge of the work is the ITM Port Investments consortium, awarded through a public-private partnership (PPP) contract.
The institutions reported that the National Council of Public Private Partnerships (CNAPP) made the award after exhausting an “open and transparent” competitive process, under the scheme of Law 47-20 on Public Private Partnerships. The project in question consists of the design, construction and exploitation of the area as a tourist destination.
The executive director of the DGAPP, Sigmund Freund, expressed his satisfaction with what he described as “a great milestone for the country.” He stressed that the new terminal will promote a greater dynamism of tourism and commerce in the province, generating about 1,050 direct and indirect jobs.
He added that the initiative is part of the Government’s decision to position the country as a cruise hub in the Caribbean, in addition to being the second tourism project that is being carried out in the country under the responsibility of the management it leads.
The port has an estimated investment of US$68 million (RD$3.8 billion) and expects the arrival of some 400,000 tourists a year from 2026.
The Duarte port was inaugurated in 1977 and currently has 19 permanent employees. Its operations are based on the reception of loose general cargo. In this sense, for the executive director of Apordom, Jean Luis Rodríguez, transforming it into a cruise terminal represents an opportunity to generate new ventures in Samaná, in addition to enhancing the tourist offer, which will lead to social and economic development for the entire region. Northeast and the Central Cibao.
Rodríguez explained that the arrival of 161 ships per year is estimated at this cruise terminal, with approximately 3,300 passengers coming from Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Curaçao, Barbados, Montego Bay, Saint Lucia, Tampa Bay and NY.
“This terminal is designed to accommodate up to one million visitors per year, which, without a doubt, will lead us towards the consolidation of our country as a Caribbean cruise hub,” said the official.
He pointed out that it is the first time that the consignment of a port is carried out through an APP since, generally, it is established through concessions, as provided by Law 70-70 that creates the Port Authority.
This initiative proposes the rehabilitation and construction of an infrastructure that allows the arrival of oasis-type vessels, the largest in the cruise industry, in addition to developing a terminal with the capacity to receive up to four cruise ships at the same time.
The cruise terminal to be developed in Arroyo Barril would be added to the existing ones Amber Cove and Taíno Bay in Puerto Plata, Romana Cruise Terminal in La Romana and Port Cabo Rojo in Pedernales, adding to the four tourist entities that have infrastructure to receive ships Oasis type in the Dominican Republic.
In the commissioning of this cruise terminal, it is estimated that the State will receive a net income of USD$1.75 per cruise passenger and USD$0.53 for the monthly lease per square meter used in the project, so it would have the capacity to generate up to US $115.6 million in income for the Dominican State.
The port project has an estimated construction period of three years.