Bahamar: Chinese and Bahamian authorities participated Monday as labourers started work  on what is touted as the largest hotel development of its kind  in the West Indies – a massive resort that will be financially backed and mostly built by Beijing.

Bahamar will be an approximately $3.5B facility  on New Providence island, and will hire some 7,000 labourers.  It is projected to generate  a 10% lift in the small country’s economic output according to the development company.  The grand design will include 4 hotels with a total of about 2,250 rooms , along with shopping plazas, golf amenities, and convention space,  and what the developer says will be the largest casino in the Caribbean.  Bahamar will open its doors in late 2014 and will focus on US visitors , who represent most of the Bahamian tourist target market, said Don Robinson, president of Baha Mar Ltd. In scope , it will be comparable to the Atlantis resort on P I. : however, that Sol Kerzner project was rolled out over a number of years, not in one take like Bahamar.  Robinson said the resort’s audacious goals is part of its market strategy: an effort to vie for  the people’s imagination and lure visitors who have ignored the Bahamas for other vacation spots. “The vision  was a large destination resort  that would improve stop-overs,” he said in an interview with The AP Wire service before the proceedings began.  West Indian tourism  took a precipitous drop  with the recession, but there have been signs of life : Hotel room revenue  in the area  in comparison to 2009 , as reported by recent industry statistics.

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