Cabo Rojo’s new port ushers in era of prosperity and cultural exchange
Pedernales.- In a significant event marking the inauguration of Cabo Rojo’s new port in Pedernales, President Luis Abinader gave a pivotal speech, coinciding with the arrival of a cruise ship carrying over 3,000 passengers. Abinader projected an increase of one million tourists by 2026, underscoring the port’s potential in boosting the economy and facilitating cultural interactions. He highlighted the port’s importance beyond infrastructure, viewing it as a catalyst for job creation and local entrepreneurship.
Reflecting on the Pedernales Tourism Development Project at Cabo Rojo, a ten-year plan consisting of four phases with an estimated budget of US$2.2 billion, President Abinader shared ambitious goals. He anticipated a long-term projection of a million cruise passengers by 2026, creating a substantial economic impact, generating 3,000 direct and over 10,000 indirect jobs. Additionally, the first of 11 planned hotels is expected to commence operations by the end of 2024, promising thousands of jobs across the region. The president expressed confidence in the transformative potential of these developments for the entire region.
Highlighting the importance of this inaugural cruise ship arrival in early 2024, President Abinader shared his vision of Pedernales’ transformation. He foresees significant improvements within five years, a complete transformation in ten years, and its evolution into a model of economic and social development in twenty years.
Regarding the new port and its visitors, the Norwegian Pearl from Norwegian Cruise Line, carrying 2,500 passengers and 1,032 crew members, arrived from Miami, United States. This marks the start of tourism and economic development for the Enriquillo region, historically one of the poorest in the country. The Port of Cabo Rojo, managed by ITM Group, is operational in its first phase, ready to welcome cruise ships with a capacity of 3,000 passengers.
Upon arrival, cruise passengers were greeted with diverse experiences, including gastronomy, folklore, and crafts, positively impacting over 350 community members. The ITM group is set to offer boat excursions, adventure boogies, and tours showcasing the province’s natural beauty and biodiversity.
The first construction phase of Cabo Rojo Port generated 550 direct and over 1,500 indirect jobs, stimulating economic development in Pedernales and the Enriquillo region. With an investment of nearly 100 million dollars, the cruise terminal aims to host up to one million passengers annually upon completion. The destination is set to receive cruises from leading companies like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC, and Virgin Voyages.