Pitch your tourism idea


Obie Wilchcombe

THE government will extend an invitation for Bahamians to pitch new tourism products to the cruise industry next month, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday.

As the Nassau port welcomed another major cruise line yesterday, Mr Wilchcombe underscored the increased demand for a wider offering to lure tourists off cruise ships to spend more in the Bahamas’ economy.

He added that major renovations were scheduled for Festival Place at Prince George Dock.

“If you look at these vessels you will see that all of them are getting bigger and bigger and they carry more and more people,” said Mr Wilchcombe. We’ve got to get more of our visitors off the vessel because if you look at the spend that’s where my difficulty is. If there are millions of visitors and they are spending an average of $60-$80, that’s not enough. We want to get more spend which means there’s a demand on Bahamians to create more tours, more activity, to ensure that we have night life.”

During the inaugural ceremony of the Norwegian Breakaway, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe announced that construction to the Welcome Centre at Prince George Dock will begin at the end of the month.

Displaced vendors will line the Prince George Wharf under colourful cabanas, Mr Wilchcombe said, adding that the expansion will offer greater opportunities.

Works are expected to span over a nine-month period.

“It’s just too small,” said Mr Wilchcombe, “at one point we thought we’d be able to do about one million and a half visitors, but don’t forget we’re doing almost five million cruise visitors. Yesterday, we had five vessels in port, on any given day that’s 23,000 people. It’s too tight, we have to broaden it a bit and create greater appeal.”

“During the Christmas festival,” he said, “you’re going to see that entire stretch filled with vendors. In the night time, we’re going to use Pompey Square, and use that period to focus on some of the entertainers that have passed on.

“The cruise lines want more so we have to reach out and get Bahamians to provide more,” he added.

Norwegian Breakaway features 29 dining options, including restaurants from Food Network Star and Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, and Master Baker Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss”; three Broadway shows; an ice bar; a weekly fireworks show at sea; and the largest Aqua Park and ropes course at sea, including five water slides.

From her berth at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest vessel will make seven-night cruises to Bermuda, May through September, and seven-night cruises to the Bahamas and Florida, October through April.


banker 9 years, 3 months ago

My idea is to put Obie Wilchcombe and Perry Christie in a dunk tank and let the tourists throw balls. That will get more people to come off the ship and spend money here, if only to sink the PLP.

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PS. Why does Obie always look like he is wearing lipstick in his pictures?


hj 9 years, 3 months ago

Here is an idea. Put the posters, that give the murder count, back up. You did it,last year and you still claim it was a good idea,so do it again.


ThisIsOurs 9 years, 3 months ago

Good point. It would really be great if all politicians starting thinking about the long term impact of their actions


pablojay 9 years, 3 months ago

Concerning Obie's lips, a man nearing 60,who has never felt the desire to have a wife beside him,says it all . I might add that the only company he has, also nearing 60 years of age , is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.


Colebrooke 9 years, 3 months ago

Enough with the jokes! This is serious people our country strives from tourism, why can't you'll understand that. Ideas that can help develop jobs for the unemployed and the single parents. First of all the cruise lines have almost everything on board so that the tourist don't have to leave the ship. So my smart Bahamain people what should we do to get them to come and spend their money with us, online marketing is one way to advertise what we have and what we produce, knowing what the tourist really wants is the key to getting them to come on land and enjoy our culture. Secondly on the ships they have warning signs telling the tourist not to carry money or leave the dock they are in fear of their life, making them feel safe and assuring that is the only way to get them to come on land and have a good time.


Unproud242 9 years, 3 months ago

We have something that other countries in this region do not but we aren't using it to our advantage. We are an archipelago which means we have options. Nassau has more or less sealed its reputation as a crime destination and the reputation it once had will take years to restore. This would be a good time to start plugging some of our resources into the tranquil destinations where people still don't see the need for house keys or car alarm systems.
Furthermore, these islands can run circles around Nassau when it comes to natural beauty. Our governments are just set on three islands being the entire country.


USAhelp 9 years, 3 months ago

High crime , vendor's intimidating visitors , corporation in government along with easy to get drugs will only attract the wrong types. I bet if you include drug money the average spend would be much higher.


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