The ninth annual Exuma Business Outlook will take place this Wednesday at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort, under the theme ‘Charting a Course for Growth in Exuma’.
Glenys Hanna Martin, the transport and aviation minister, is the keynote speaker. Also scheduled to speak are Chester Cooper, president and chief executive, of BAF Financial; co-chair, of the VAT education committee, Jasmine Y. Davis; deputy chief medical officer, Dr Delon Brennen; executive director of the Bahamas National Trust (BNT), Eric Carey; general manager of Sandals Emerald Bay, Jeremy Mutton; senior director of airlift development in the Ministry of Transport & Aviation, Tyrone G. Sawyer; and president of the Exuma Chamber of Commerce, Pedro Rolle.
Joan Albury, president of the TCL Group, and organiser of the multi-island Business Outlook series, said: “The fundamental purpose of the Exuma Business Outlook, and of the whole series, is to bring information to the local and wider community that affords a global view of our country’s development picture.
“Being able to appreciate all aspects of a given situation, and how each will impact your development goals, can help you make better decisions. I cannot overstate the importance of high quality information. This is what Business Outlook is all about.”
Mrs Albury added: “Tourism is central to Exuma’s livelihood. Exuma tourism is important to the overall expansion of Bahamas tourism and, most definitely, getting tourists to Exuma, whether by sea or air, is essential for the growth of the industry. Because of the importance of tourism in the Exuma group of islands, we are also grateful for the participation of Tyrone Sawyer, senior director of airlift development in the Ministry of Tourism, and Jeremy Mutton, general manager, Sandals at Emerald Bay. That property is not only Exuma’s tourism anchor, but also the island’s major employer.”
Mrs Albury said one of the main goals of Exuma Business Outlook is to increase general knowledge among Bahamians throughout the archipelago.
“The Family Island Business Outlooks always include representatives of local government and the Chamber of Commerce among our speakers,” she added.
“Consequently, the welcome at Exuma Business Outlook 2014 will be given by Leonard Dames Jr, local government chief councillor.
“Pedro Rolle, president of the Exuma Chamber of Commerce, and vice-president/manager at Seaside Real Estate, will again present the Exuma update and vision.
“We feel that this inclusion is essential. Bahamians living in New Providence and Grand Bahama, who represent the majority of our population, tend not to be as conscious as they ought to be of what is happening in the other islands, and the great value of such communities to national well-being,” Mrs Albury said.
“Additionally, we have been putting the soon-to-be implemented Value-Added Tax (VAT) regime on every Business Outlook agenda because of the impact it will have on existing businesses and future business development. TCL is glad to have the involvement of Jasmine Davis of the VAT Education Committee, and happy that we can help to spread accurate information about VAT.
“If we are talking sustainability of Exuma’s top attraction, which is the group’s peerless natural environment, we must involve Bahamas National Trust as much as possible. No discussion of Family Island tourism development can be complete without including airlift. Of course, the financial services industry, as the second pillar of the Bahamian economy, is always topical and must be dealt with.”