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News : Ministry of Tourism Updates Last Updated: Nov 28, 2018 - 4:29:53 PM

Tourism Development Corporation Identifies Key Areas for Budding Entrepreneurs
By Dawn Demeritte
Nov 28, 2018 - 4:18:12 PM

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Abaco, Bahamas - Opportunities for new entrepreneurs in the tourism sector are vast in the Abacos, according to CEO and Executive Director of the newly mandated Tourism Development Corporation (TDC).

Speaking at a Why Tourism Matters workshop held in Marsh Harbour, Abaco in partnership with the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, Janet Johnson explained that TDC identified areas in the sector that could enhance the visitor's vacation experience in Abaco. These areas include land rental tours, farm to table businesses, eco tours, farm tours, souvenir stores, authentic Bahamian tours, more dining options in Treasure Cay as well as a grocery store.

Although the first step of the TDC is to examine what types of businesses are needed on the different islands, a critical component is creating an entrepreneurship network across The Islands Of The Bahamas (TIOTB).

Janet Johnson said the TDC is already getting the ball moving in Abaco.

“The TDC intends to be very engaged, working with our corporate partners. We’ve created a TDC Abaco Entrepreneurs Whatsapp group and they’re all participating. A few Abaconian businesses participated in Jollification last weekend, and I’ve taken photos to encourage others to think about growing and expanding their products to festivals in Nassau. We also have similar chat groups with entrepreneurs in Bimini and we intend to systematically grow our reach across The Islands Of The Bahamas,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the corporation is a good step but there’s lots of work to be done domestically.

“We have a lot to do. The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) has been very good at promoting TIOTB abroad but has done little to look at the domestic situation, build capacity and get more Bahamians involved in ownership of the tourism business. That is now the job of TDC to explore the linkages and show Bahamians what the potential is to improve their quality of life and work for themselves.”

President of Abaco Chamber of Commerce, Kenneth Hutton, said he appreciated the workshop.

“The event was important for Abaco because it allowed Tourism operators and suppliers to know that there are funding and support facilities available to them to grow and expand their existing business and for entrepreneurs looking to gain a foothold in the Abaco market. There are options outside of commercial banks for funding and investment,” Hutton said.

The TDC is the former Hotel Corporation and a new arm of MOTA and its mission is to increase Bahamian ownership. The Tourism Development Corporation intends to visit and conduct an assessment of all 16 major islands.

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