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Minister Says Tourism Spend Leak 'Pathetic'

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

The MINISTER of tourism yesterday expressed dismay at what he described as a lack of creativity among Bahamian businesses in enhancing the visitor experience, slamming the tourism dollar leakage as "pathetic".

Dionisio D'Aguilar, addressing the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) seminar, said: "Based on my own private sector experience I must say that I'm a little dismayed, and I say it all the time at how un-creative a lot of Bahamian businesses are in keeping our visitors excited about whatever it is they are offering.

"We have become a little lazy. It is inconceivable to me, the high level of cruise passengers that come to The Bahamas and go through Atlantis. I implore private sector companies to come up with ideas to engage these foreign visitors and get them to experience what is uniquely Bahamian."

The minister said Bahamian businesses must figure out how to engage visitors and allow them to experience what is uniquely Bahamian. He lamented that many of this nation's "best and brightest" are not returning home to create these businesses within the sector.

"These are the people we have to attract to come up with creative ideas and tap into these 6.4m visitors. I have created a Tourism Development Corporation to assist - not financially - businesses with getting off the ground, tapping into the tourism industry and creating linkages. Eighty-five cents of every dollar we make is going out of the country. We haven't improved that number and it's pretty pathetic that we haven't."

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