Corporation’s ‘lifeline’ for tourism businesses


Ian Ferguson

Throughout the Caribbean and in the many parts of the world where tourism reigns, tourism development organisations and agencies have reshaped the template for visitor experiences. The Bahamas’ own Tourism Development Corporation, in similar fashion, is poised to redefine how we deliver goods and services to the tens of millions of tourists who visit our shores annually.

Last week I was pleased to join more than 100 public sector, private sector, civil society and international agency representatives at the Tourism Development Corporation’s relaunch and stakeholder meeting. The resounding theme of Tourism is Everyone’s Business reminds us that strategic partnerships are vital to the success of this and every endeavour. The job of sustaining a strong and economically viable industry cannot be left in the hands of any one organisation. Every hand and head must be fully engaged for success to be achieved.

The Tourism Development Corporation has been relaunched with four critical priorities.

Product Development

  • Strategising new ways to enhance, rejuvenate and diversify the tourism product

Business Development

  • Widening entrepreneurship opportunities and strengthening existing Tourism small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Linkage Creation

  • The strategic pairing of tourism support industries to reduce leakage and increase economic viability

Sector Engagement

  • Encouraging collaboration within and across tourism sectors

Each of these areas provides focuse that will guide our projects and discussions. For the purpose of this week’s column, I wish to highlight just three of the Tourism Development Corporation’s overarching and far-reaching goals. They are:

Reducing Economic Leakage

Increased tourism arrivals mean nothing if we cannot increase their spending through the meaningful engagement and purchase of local products. Simply put, we want the tourism dollar to remain in The Bahamas.

Guide access to funding opportunities

The only hurdle often preventing the realisation of entrepreneurial dreams is access to capital. Local and international lending and grant funding agencies are ready to assist when they understand the support organisations such as the Tourism Development Corporation can provide to those SMEs seeking funding.

Ongoing technical consultancy support.

Through certification programmes such as Hospitality Assured, the business analysts and administrators at the Tourism Development Corporation will hold the hand of SMEs requiring a wide range of business assistance. The Tourism Development Corporation has pledged to be the lifeline that Bahamian entrepreneurs need to compete on the global stage.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@coralwave.com.


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