The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically inflicted how the travel industry operates, with most airports remaining closed & ports shut down. While most businesses & jurisdictions are doing their best towards saving finances, the Port of Miami isn’t following suit. It’s been announced that several expansion projects are coming for Port Miami, which surround entirely around cruise lines & international container ships. Details came to light after the Miami-Dade County Commissioners Office authorized a $355 Million expansion. It’s the highest valuation of funds the county has spent on Port Miami.
The Director of Port Miami emphasised that expansion projects haven’t been postponed, and that newly announced expansions are being planned daily. Port Miami has begun advertising their expansion to international cruisers, informing them that multiple operators have promised in-writing to dock at the Miami Port. This includes the Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Corporation, MSC Cruises, Terminal Link Miami, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Virgin Cruises. When it applies to the most prominent operators of cruises, Royal Caribbean has refused to dock at Port Miami. Royal Caribbean has demanded cheaper docking fees & more space for their vessels, which goes against core business strategies for Port Miami. It’s created an immovable impasse between both parties.
It doesn’t matter if Port Miami begins signing new contracts & begins the next part of their expansion project, as the US Government has engaged a “No-Sail Order” until October 1st. There has been notable backlash against Miami-Dade Politicians, who permitted the additional $355 Million in taxpayer money. It’s pointless to upgrade facilities if there aren’t guarantees they’ll be used.
Backlash grew when Miami-Dad Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, began lobbying from the CDC to abolish the No-Sail Order. Rebeca Sosa would rather see Americans die from COVID-19 than Miami-Dade’s investment be wasted. Her foolish mentality saw her popularity vote from by 22 points, a notable loss that’ll likely see her not re-elected. Furthermore, Rebeca Sosa is the reason why Port Miami continues to spend money while losing it. More than $55 Million has been lost before announcing the $355 million expansion. Rebeca’s excuse has continuously been that the Miami-Dade County relies on tourism, as does the State of Florida.