The Duarte port, in Samaná, has already been awarded the necessary contract for the formal start of the works that will convert it into a cruise terminal and tourist facility under the name of Arroyo Barril-Samaná port.
This was announced by the General Directorate of Public-Private Partnerships (DGAPP) and the Dominican Port Authority (Apordom). The company in charge of the project is the ITM Port Investments consortium, awarded through a public-private partnership (PPP) contract.
The institutions informed 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 of 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 emphasized that the new terminal will boost tourism and commerce in the province, generating close to 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 to be executed in the country under the responsibility of the directorate he heads.
The port has an estimated investment of US$68 million (RD$3.8 billion) and expects the arrival of some 400,000 tourists annually as of 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 tourism offer, which will result in social and economic development for the entire Northeast region and the Central Cibao.
Rodriguez explained that this cruise terminal is expected to receive 161 ships per year, with approximately 3,300 passengers coming from Miami, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Curacao, Barbados, Montego Bay, St. Lucia, Tampa Bay and New York.
“This terminal is designed to welcome up to one million visitors annually, which will undoubtedly set us on the road to consolidating our country as a cruise hub in the Caribbean,” the official said.
He pointed out that this is the first time that the allocation of a port is carried out through a PPP, since it is generally established through concessions, as provided for in Law 70-70, which created the Port Authority.
This initiative proposes the rehabilitation and construction of an infrastructure that will allow 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 join the existing 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 oasis type vessels in the Dominican Republic.
In the operation 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.
Learn more: NEWS