Tour company applies to put pontoon at Sandbar

| 09/08/2018 | 101 Comments
Cayman News Service

Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef

(CNS): MarineLand Tours has made a coastal works application to install moorings to support a multi-level tourist pontoon just yards from the Sandbar in the North Sound. The application indicates that the owners want to create a tourist attraction in the area with water slides, snorkelling trips, an underwater observation gallery and several sun decks. The 150ft pontoon was described as a “luxury product” in the documents submitted to Cabinet, which will decide whether or not to grant the application. 

MarineLand is owned by the Eldemire family, which already offers a number of tourism attractions and services, but in this application they repeatedly refer to the need for more attractions as well as the expansion and adaption of the existing tourism product to compete with other destinations.

The application points to a number of examples of this type of floating pontoon in Australia along the Great Barrier Reef Marine, which attracts day trippers, though some include cafes and even sleeping facilities. The documents state that regulations have been developed by the Australian authorities to minimise the impact on the reef, which Cayman could copy, the application suggests.

The pontoon would be a first for Cayman, however, but the applicants urge government to allow the proposed project as a way of diversifying what is on offer to guests and prevent the sector “from dying” by offering something different to the next generation of visitors.

Envisaged as a permanent site, where other boats could moor and would allow snorkelling trips on the reefs in the area, the plans appear to show the pontoon moored around 4,000 feet to the west of Stingray City.

According to the documents, the public consultation on the application is now closed after the proposal was advertised in April and May in the local print media.

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Category: Business, development, Local News, Marine Environment, Science & Nature, Tourism

Comments (101)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    No, no and no. Reality check.. for God sake these are three beautiful, natural ISLANDS … leave them alone…,..

  2. Anonymous says:

    There are some bad tourism products being allowed, having just spent a week touring the island with family staying, I know all they wanted to see were stingrays in their natural environment, this is no place for slides or water parks. It gets bad enough with the amount of boat traffic and different music blaring from each boat. Then starfish point, the shock to see what has been allowed there a floating trampoline and slide, this is not why tourists come to Cayman or that particular beach. These types of amenities should be kept to the turtle farm or areas such as that. Not floating in the water where you just want to experience something natural and beautiful, there is no need to add anything to the stingrays and starfish experience. If anything more control is needed on the amount of visitors to these sites and every boat blasting different music and competing as to who has the loudest speakers could be toned down slightly. DOT needs to take a good look at their tourism product and maybe spend two weeks as a tourist and speak to the tourists when you go to each product. The tourists will tell you exactly what is wrong and what is great. This should not get approval, attractions like that are meant for seaworld, disneyworld theme parks, Cayman should not turn itself into another giant theme park that is not what the tourists come here for. If this gets approved the only power we have left is to boycott these types of badly considered tourism products

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