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BEST: Don’t widen Cut until there’s a tourism strategy

The Department of Tourism needs to solidify a tourism strategy before deciding if Town Cut should be widened, according to environmental activist Stuart Hayward.

Speaking out yesterday following media reports that a study on Town Cut recommended cutting away at three islands to double the width of the waterway, Mr Hayward said: “It is difficult to understand the rational for such major alterations before there is a clear tourism strategy.”

Mr Hayward, the chairman of the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) said the organisation had been given a presentation on the report and a fairly brief discussion on the matter, but had not yet had the opportunity to thoroughly examine the study.

According to reports, the study, carried out to investigate the possibility of modifying Town Cut to allow the passage of larger cruise ships, recommends three strategies, each of which involves more than doubling the channel’s width by cutting away from Higgs, Hen and Horseshoe islands.

A Government spokesman said he was unable to confirm the details of the report, but that information would be released to the public in the near future.

Speaking on Friday, Mr Hayward said: “St Georgians must ask themselves if their town is a suitable site for the disembarking of thousands of low-spending tourists at a time, and whether being overrun with cruise ship passengers is the preferable or only alternative, especially when there are proposals already in motion for two new hotels.

“In any case, it would seen prudent for the country to have a well reasoned tourism strategy in place before it even considers major, single-purpose alterations to the marine-scape such as the study suggests.”

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Published September 17, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 17, 2011 at 8:00 am)

BEST: Don’t widen Cut until there’s a tourism strategy

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