Ministry of Tourism Director Betty Bethel charged the business leaders to make a personal investment in improving the island's tourism product. (Photo: Keen i Media Ltd).
Freeport, The Bahamas - In an address to the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce
Ministry of Tourism Director Betty Bethel asserted that Grand Bahama's
future ultimately rests in the hands of both public and private
stakeholders. Bethel served as guest speaker for the GB Chamber's March
business luncheon at The Pelican Bay Hotel, where she stressed the need
for community participation in returning the island to its glory days.
we want Grand Bahama to succeed, we must be participants in the
process," Bethel said. "We must form alliances and partnerships and
engage out-of-the-box thinking to plan and execute innovative activities
and programmes that will lift the destination and get Grand Bahama
noticed in the market again."
tourism director acknowledged Hurricane Matthew's adverse impact on the
island's tourism product - notably the closure of Memories Grand Bahama
Beach Resort and the Grand Lucayan Resort's Breaker's Cay tower - but
noted that the storm also presented stakeholders with a unique
opportunity to reinstate the "industry-sustaining practices" that once
secured Grand Bahama as a premier destination.
suggested that specific measures could be taken to improve the
experience for residents and visitors to the island, among them were
beautification of the island's landscapes and infrastructure, a renewed
focus on live Bahamian entertainment, and an introduction of creative
charged the business leaders to become the local investors that bring
exciting, non-traditional experiences to life for the enjoyment of
guests and natives.
that tourism is everyone's business, Bethel said the Ministry of
Tourism is doing its part to meet with key stakeholders to develop
programmes geared toward improving the island's appearance and its
tourism product. Noting that is it paramount that Grand Bahama be able
to capitalise on its proximity to America, she said a major concern has
been revising turnaround costs at the Grand Bahama International
Bahama's airport turnaround costs remain a concern and must be
addressed," Bethel said. "We believe it should be addressed jointly by
public and private sector arrangements, outlining clear and realistic
objectives that speak to the destination's position and the goals that
are in sync with the country."
said the journey to reviving Grand Bahama's weakened tourism status
will be a challenging one, but encouraged Chamber members to look toward
the future with optimism and determination.
have no choice but to take our island into our own hands," she said.
"Tourisms demise or revival will depend on the decisions we make or
actions we take today. There can be no quick fixes, band aids, shoddy
repair works or hit or miss solutions. We must move toward sustainable