On July 20, 132 days remained to the opening of the Carnival’s Mahogany Bay cruise ship terminal. “We are going to stay here for many years. We are going to stay here for ever,” said Giora Israel, Carnival’s vice-president of strategic planning to a town audience at the Outreach Ministries in Coxen Hole.
According to Israel in 2003 Carnival made only 11 calls on Roatan, and in 2008 80% of all cruise shippers on Roatan will disembark Carnival ships. 520,000 passengers are expected to disembark at Mahogany Bay in just the first year of operation scheduled to begin in November. By 2010 Roatan is projected to be second largest, after Cozumel, cruise ship transit port in the Americas.
Already, between May 1 and November 1, the Caribbean slow season, Carnival ships bring 98% of cruise shippers to Roatan, that spend on average $82 on the island excursions. “You are our salvation in this current situation,” told the Carnival guests Governor Arlie Thompson. [/private]