By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The report on Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’s economic impact is complete, its chairman said yesterday, although he was unable to confirm when it would be released publicly.
“The report is finished, I can report that much,” said Paul Major, the Bahamas National Festival Commission’s (BNFC) chairman, when contacted by Tribune Business. “I’m presenting my report to the principals today. I can’t say what happens after that, but that will be done today.”
Obie Wilchcombe, minister of tourism, added: “With respect to Carnival, they’ve finished those numbers. I don’t know why they haven’t been released.
“The Commission has completed its work. I think they are meeting with the Prime Minister, and then they can release it because his Ministry is responsible for that.”
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival was held in Nassau from May 7-9, and in Grand Bahama from April 15-16. Many, including members of the official Opposition, have questioned why the Government has yet to produce figures on the festival’s financial performance and economic impact.
Last year, the Government spent $11.3 million on the inaugural festival, going over its initial budget of $9 million.
It ‘gained’ $8.3 million in combined direct and tax revenues, with the latter providing $6.7 million of that sum. The direct revenue, which totalled $1.6 million, largely came from ticket sales and cash sponsorships, organisers said.
The BNFC faced strong criticism last year for going over-budget and a lack of proper planning. This year, the BNFC estimated that it would spend roughly $7 million to stage the event.