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Tourism gets boost as phase two of Chag project opens

Published: 
Saturday, December 20, 2014
A Blue Devil character interacts with members of the public during the opening of the Chaguaramas Boardwalk Phase II on Thursday night. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The diversification of T&T’s economy through tourism received a boost with the completion of the second phase of the Chaguaramas Development Authority’s (CDA) Boardwalk project on Williams Bay. The expanded recreational facility was launched on Thursday night by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who vowed to facilitate the continued development of the north western peninsula as she cut the ceremonial ribbon.

The Prime Minister said the project was key to the economy’s diversification through tourism. The first phase of the boardwalk was opened in May 2012 and was extended a further 1,300 feet for the second phase. The third and final phase is expected to start soon after the turn of the new year. Planning Minister Bhoendradatt Tewarie, National Security Minister Gary Griffith and Arts and Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas were among the officials present at the launch.

In her address, the Prime Minister heaped praise on CDA chairman Daniel Solomon, CEO Jocelyn Hargreaves, the board and staff for their vision and execution of the project, which she said would offer entertainment to thousands of locals and visitors and career opportunities for hundreds.

“Ask Mary McMillan of Haig St (Carenage), who manufactured the cushions for the net bridge of the zip line. Those were to be imported, but are now produced right here in Carenage. I say, ask her whether she thinks the development is good,” Persad-Bissessar said, responding to those who opposed the development.

She added, “The CDA will be a leader of the Caribbean by making the peninsula the gem of our nation and a model for development, which can’t be emulated anywhere in the world.” The Prime Minister said people entering Chaguaramas ought to feel safe as “security has been doubled” and every car that entered the area could be tracked.

A sum of $35 million was initially budgeted for the second phase. However, it is uncertain what the final expenditure on the project will be. Hargreaves, CDA’s CEO, said an impending, detailed release would clarify the expenditures and all other aspects of the project.

Plans for Chaguaramas
The PM said work on developing Chaguaramas to its full potential would continue with a number of upgrades. For one, the golf course, the first public course open to the public in the West Indies, would be upgraded to international standards in order to facilitate international tournaments. She said Chagville Beach would be rehabilitated, hills and green spaces reforested, and the Chaguaramas Hotel and Convention Centre upgraded.

Persad-Bissessar noted that new world class marinas would be developed “that will make us the preferred destination for everyone in the western hemisphere, especially those who wish to avoid the average hurricane season. Finally, she said, there was “an expansive, maybe expensive boardwalk that expands to the helipad in the west adding to the ambience and comfort of everyone on the beach.”

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