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St George’s mayor calls for seawall to be fixed to allow more cruise ships

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Skilled navigation: the Norwegian Majesty enters St George's Harbour through Town Cut between St George's Island and Higgs and Horseshoe Island (File photograph)

An eroding seawall on the way into St George needs urgent repairs or complete rebuilding so that more cruiseships can visit, according to the town’s mayor.

George Dowling III also urged the Bermuda Tourism Authority to market the Olde Towne more, saying St George had an undeserved reputation as an “old, broken-down” town.

Mr Dowling, who raised the seawall issue two years ago, said: “As you are coming out of the Town Cut into the harbour, that is where the seawall, or training wall, is.

“It’s instrumental in allowing cruise ships to manoeuvre into the harbour. It’s eroded and some boats have hit it. It needs to be repaired or rebuilt.

“It is something that needs to be done as it will get boats closer to the maximum size that are allowed in the channel to get there.

“What happens is, there the cut is on one side and then there is current that comes from the other side of the island that will come around and push.”

Mr Dowling said there was a lucrative market in attracting small cruise ships to the town.

“There are quite a few of them still out there in the world and they are coming back around. These niche, smaller cruise ships, they are coming back in.

“These cruise vessels tend to stay in ports longer, theytend to spend more money per person.”

Mr Dowling said the BTA needed to specifically promote St George as a unique visitor destination.

He said that St George had an undeserved reputation as an “old, broken-down” town among some people when it should be promoted as an historic, but lively place.

“Everybody, all the stakeholders, have to be advocates for the town. There is sometimes this narrative ‘oh, it’s the old town’. No, it’s an historic town. Old means broken-down and so on and so forth.”

Mr Dowling added: “I think that parts of the Bermuda tourism plan got away from what St George’s is.

“Essentially, St George’s gets templated with the rest of Bermuda, but the fact is that St George is a unique, comprehensive tourism destination, so it needs its own marketing, its own set of rules.

“St George’s actually requires special handling in the marketing aspect. If the BTA could just have something that is geared specifically towards St George’s, it would be good.

“That’s not a criticism of the BTA because the BTA does a remarkable job promoting Bermuda coming out of the pandemic.”

George Dowling III, the Mayor of St George (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

The Government and the BTA were contacted for comment.

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Published January 11, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated January 11, 2023 at 7:35 am)

St George’s mayor calls for seawall to be fixed to allow more cruise ships

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