Bahamas Development Bank and Disney Cruise Line Implement Solution on $2M Cruise Line Insurance Challenge

The content originally appeared on: ZNS BAHAMAS News

Vendors across The Bahamas have been unable to offer direct services to cruise lines for decades due to the high cost of appropriate insurance coverage and lack of access to it. Following extensive discussions with Disney Cruise Line (DCL), the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) has launched an innovative insurance solution which fosters a mutually beneficial relationship for all stakeholders and enhances the vitality of local businesses while enriching the cultural offerings of cruise lines like DCL.

This insurance solution empowers Bahamian vendors represented by the National Eco-Tour Operators Co-operative (NETO Co-op) to confidently offer handmade crafts, captivating island tours, and an array of unique experiences. Bahamas Development Bank Managing Director, Nicholas Higgs, said, “BDB is proud to work with Disney Cruise Line and NETO Co-op on this groundbreaking achievement and promote business innovation, expansion, and local culture. Our efforts in connecting vendors with crucial liability insurance and development assistance is pivotal in ensuring that they have an opportunity to not only participate but thrive in business. This is a true reflection of BDB’s commitment to fostering economic growth and celebrating the rich culture of islands across The Bahamas.”

BDB drafted solutions, liaised with potential partners, and met with potential Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point vendors todiscuss the way forward for them and others facing similar insurance coverage challenges. Following these activities, BDB andNETO Co-Op are set to sign a memorandum of understanding. NETO Co-op President, H. Rudy Sawyer, highlighted that the organization is excited for its partnership with the Bahamas Development Bank, “the premier financial institute in the country mandated to support the development of the small business sector.”

NETO Co-op was formed by a group of small business tour operators who were providing nature, culture, and heritage tours, butwere faced with a huge cost in getting the global liability insurance required to offer their experiences to guests visiting by cruise ships. The limited liability co-operative now offers a discounted rate of at least 65 percent to members and continually provides training, joint marketing, and any other positive initiatives centered around improvement.

“Our membership includes the ideal clients of BDB, and funding and business development are critical components to our members. Together with the Bahamas Development Bank we can expand to other islands, like Eleuthera where DCL’s newest destination calls home, so that more small and medium sized businesses focused on nature and culture tours, and the orange economy, can be successful,” said Sawyer.

Disney Cruise Line Regional Public Affairs Director, Joey Gaskins Jr., added, “As we prepare for the opening of Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, we recognized that the question of global liability insurance would be a challenge for small business on Eleuthera. Searching for an affordable global liability insurance solution has been an ongoing challenge for cruise lines. We are delighted that with DCL’s support, BDB and NETO Co-Op have managed to solve this problem and make way for not only Eleuthera-based vendors, but those on every island in The Bahamas.”