Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis at the Rosewood ribbon cutting ceremony.
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
ROSEWOOD Baha Mar officially opened last night during a ribbon cutting ceremony as executives prepare to phase in the first guests on June 1.
Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis praised Baha Mar for its contribution to The Bahamas’ exceptional tourism market, adding the country must focus on doing an even better job in attracting and providing services to visitors.
He said his administration is committed to doing a better job at monetising cruise ship visits to New Providence and Grand Bahama. This commitment also includes revitalising the tourism product in the second city.
Dr Minnis also recognised Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd – Baha Mar’s owners and former Prime Minister Perry Christie for contributing to the resort’s opening.
Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, told reporters there is a huge pent-up demand for the 237-room Baha Mar arm of the brand, which employs 450 workers.
He said: “June 1 we’ll have a few guests, but we’ll phase them in. We want to make sure we get the service standard right so that nothing is amiss.”
It comes six months after the SLS opened in grand style last May.
Dr Minnis said: “Tourism is doing exceptionally well in The Bahamas. But we can do even better. The government is committed to the revitalisation of tourism in Grand Bahama. We must better monetise cruise ship visits to New Providence and Grand Bahama.
“There are a number of developments being negotiated for the Family Islands. We will announce a number of upgrades to infrastructure, including a number of Family Island airports.
“Here in New Providence, the ongoing transformation of downtown Nassau is essential for the visitor experience. The new Straw Market and the movement of the Container Port from downtown were important developments in the revitalisation of downtown. Considerably more must be done.
“In due course, we will announce a number of developments and initiatives to truly transform downtown for Bahamians and visitors, including hotel and resort guests and cruise ship passengers.”
He continued: “Fairwind, of course, is the nautical term for a favourable wind for a sailor. In this vein, Baha Mar and tourism in general are experiencing exceptional fairwinds throughout our archipelago.
“These favourable winds will gather speed and will benefit even more Bahamians as our economy continues to grow, and as our Bahamas brand continues to attract even more visitors to the islands of The Bahamas. Today is indeed one of celebration. Congratulations again to all who made today possible.”
Dr Minnis further appealed to executives to incorporate heritage tours and cultural experiences off property for guests.
Rosewood, a global hotel company with over 23 hotels and resorts, boasts a number of iconic properties, including: The Crillion in Paris, Rosewood London and the Carlyle in New York City.