(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.