The prime minister has challenged the Bahamian hotel industry to “fill the 7,000 rooms left unoccupied” in 2018 so that it can maximise the nation’s tourism potential.
Dr Hubert Minnis, while addressing the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism’s Association’s (BHTA) annual general meeting (AGM), reiterated the Government’s commitment to working with the private sector so it reaped the full benefits from the industry.
Dr Minnis, in his remarks, argued that The Bahamas had only “scratched the surface of its tourism potential” given the country’s weather, beaches, “crystal clear waters” and proximity to the US.
Prior to the prime minister’s address, various tourism industry stakeholders gave evidence of improved tourism performance. The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) said Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) had enjoyed record passenger traffic during nine of the first ten months of 2018. The Ministry of Tourism and various promotion boards reported double digit growth in air arrivals, and an increase in visitors to most of the Family Islands.
“We are pleased to hear numerous positive reports from stakeholders as we close out the year. The public and private sector have worked arduously to achieve this end,” said Carlton Russell, who was re-elected as BHTA president for a second term.
“We recognise, however, that good news has not been had by all. We must continue to work together to ensure all of the jewels in our chain of Family Islands are easily accessible to the benefit of the entire country.
“Furthermore, we are mindful that growth in revenue does not necessarily equate to an increase in profits, and that the cost of doing business is an important part of that equation. We, the private sector, must continue to work collectively with our public sector partners to ensure our hopes for the future are realised.”