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Carnival aims for $50m

Wendi Lewis, of Visage, in action on stage at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival last night. 
Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Wendi Lewis, of Visage, in action on stage at Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival last night. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMAS Junkanoo Carnival will inject more than $50m into the Bahamian economy, Bahamas National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major estimated yesterday.

Mr Major also said that due to the significant turnout at the festival’s kick-off weekend in Grand Bahama last month, an even greater crowd is expected to attend Junkanoo Carnival in New Providence. He estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 revellers would participate in the three-day event.

Mr Major said Grand Bahama’s festival had a gross domestic product (GDP) impact of around $17m. Festival organisers originally expected an overall GDP impact of $30m in incremental revenue from carnival.

Mr Major’s comments came just hours before Prime Minister Perry Christie officially launched Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival here in New Providence.

Bahamians, with a good number of tourists, flocked to the Western Esplanade to witness and participate in the official launch.

“I don’t have any doubt that we’re going to exceed that (the $30 million estimate), because of our experience of April 17 and 18 in Freeport, Grand Bahama,” Mr Major said yesterday. “We got 10,000 people the first night (in Grand Bahama) and 20,000 on the second night. The GDP impact there was $17m, $18m – and they’ve only got a population of about 40,000.

“So I expect we’re going to have, whereas we had estimated, 15,000 maybe 20,000, the minister and others have estimated we will now have probably 50,000 to 60,000, maybe even 100,000 over the next three days, here and across the street, to experience this three-day event.

“So if that happens, we also have 25,000 tourists sitting out in the harbour that are just waiting to come out, so if we can get all of them to come out like we did in Freeport and empty the hotels, the GDP impact in my vision could be easily $50m, $60m.”

The opening ceremony yesterday began with a vibrant jet-ski display in the waters off the Western Esplanade, and just in front of the podium from which Mr Christie will ultimately address them.

The jet-ski display was followed by a line of fire dancers, after which Mr Christie took to the stage.

Mr Christie told the crowd the event would have a “very successful, economic impact on the economy of the Bahamas.”

“To all of you who will be coming out, this is going to be a magnificent set of experiences we’re going to have here on Arawak Cay, the Western Esplanade, and over there on Fort Charlotte, Clifford Park,” he said. “So please join us and commit yourselves to having a lot of fun. Because I can tell you now without fear of equivocation that in the coming years, this is going to be on the calendar of people all over the world and they will be coming in here by the thousands to join us in the Bahamas in celebrating Junkanoo Carnival.”

A Junkanoo rush out followed Mr Christie’s remarks, and officially ushered in the festivities, which involved performances by “Junkamania” groups. Local acts Visage and Julien Believe were also scheduled to perform.

A couple from Australia expressed to The Tribune their delight in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. “It’s amazing,” Brad Day said. “It’s the first time I’m here experiencing Junkanoo, so it’s really great. The music, I’m loving it.”

“I love it,” said his wife Karen. “It’s fantastic. The costumes, the music, the dancing, it’s really amazing.”

Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethel told The Tribune yesterday that police have implemented strict security measures to ensure public safety throughout the duration of the event.

“Your police force is proud to be here to provide security, and you will see it,” he said. “No one in the world could police this Bahamas better than the Royal Bahamas Police Force, and you will see that.”

Junkanoo Carnival continues today, with the Music Masters Concert and a performance by Trinidadian Soca artist Machel Montano and Bahamian group, Baha Men.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 9 years, 2 months ago

If 99.9% of the crowd is Bahamian how can 50 million be injected into the economy?

I'm no economist but is that right?

realfreethinker 9 years, 2 months ago

Good point> when did Major become an economist. The bullshit that comes out of these people mouth. The government cant give us the GDP for the country for 2013 yet,but they can give data on something that has not happened yet. Real thinking Bahamians should see through bull. It disgust me how these guys just push these numbers out without any supporting facts.

Tommy77 9 years, 2 months ago

This could be big.http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/bg…" style="display:none">http://s05.flagcounter.com/mini/WUu/bg_…" style="display:none">

TalRussell 9 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Tommy77, it done big 9.5 million dollars that COULD have been spent on providing potentially HEALTH HEALING opportunities to implements health procedures for their OWN damn people. Many health concerns went unaddressed when this same cabinet hid the report from Marathon residents. Potentially life-threatening health details known to this government since 2013. Collectively in mind's thousands, whether to show up dance to the TAXPAYERS imported Trinny beat or not, they're guilty as sin of collectively and deliberately carrying out a kept secret act of missed opportunities and an intentional failure to address potentially life threatening health issues facing their own people. They can go take themselves, along with their Carnival "Trinny" 2015 side show - straight deep and beyond the burning gates da devil's hell.

watcher 9 years, 2 months ago

If I spend $100 at the Carnival, I am not "injecting" it into the economy. It just means that I won't be spending that $100 on something else. If Johnny Foreigner spends $100, then I agree, it is new money for us. So will someone please take a proper guesstimate at the true worth of Carnival?

realfreethinker 9 years, 2 months ago

This is a lost to the government. They cannot break even on this,and the economy may see a net of $2-3mil and thats if we are lucky

realfreethinker 9 years, 2 months ago

The girl in the picture looks kind of cute

TruthHurts 9 years, 2 months ago

Where's the 'thumbs down' button when you need it?!

DonAnthony 9 years, 2 months ago

This is fuzzy math on steroids, in his former life Mr. Major was manager of Bahamasair so he has a lot of experience with fuzzy math. He is living in an alternate reality where nothing has to be profitable ( bankrolled by the treasury) and losses are viewed as surpluses and it is all good once we say it is.

TruthHurts 9 years, 2 months ago

In actuality I think they found the RIGHT person to give these figures because of his past experience with Loss!

Just another clue that these people are a bunch of clowns! One big gigantic Circus! Hope the heavens open wide to piss all over their parade!

TalRussell 9 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Paul Major is not good for we's Underground Community of Scuttlebutts (UCSB) cuz he creates all the Carnival 2015 gossip, all by he self. We ain't left not slightest needs create gossip about the man, they calls Paul. Well, what in hell am I do now? Thanks Paul giving members UCSB a much earned rest.

birdiestrachan 9 years, 2 months ago

Condemning people to hell, now that is deep. There are many persons who are enjoying themselves at the carnival, in spite of the HATERS, and there is nothing you all can do about it. Even the weather complied . and we are grateful to God who is LOVE.

TalRussell 9 years, 2 months ago

You can relax Comrade cuz despite what I says about Carnival 2015, they're probably not going to Hell. Hope ya is relieved? But wherever they're going, I'm pretty damn sure you too going be spending eternity together, wherever that happens be. Now, I bet you're all relieved of da exciting here and after news. Of course you are? Amen!!

Emac 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't know about injecting $50 million in the economy. What I do know is that the opening was spectacular and was well organized. I had the opportunity to judge one of the competitions and I must say I am extremely proud of our young entertainers. I must have been hiding under a rock, because I was pleasantly surprised at the level of musicianship and quality performance that was presented by the Bahamian entertainers. I can safely say that our music and culture is well alive in the hands of our talented youth! I was one of the doubting Thomas's, but I have to admit that Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival impressed me.

birdiestrachan 9 years, 2 months ago

TALRUSSELL what has happened to cause you to be so bitter towards the PLP. ?

birdiestrachan 9 years, 2 months ago

That is what Junkanoo Carnival is all about. Show casing our talented Bahamians, especially the young ones who many not have had the opportunity to display their talent. It is money well spent because it is spent on Bahamians. Let us celebrate our own. and lift them up and wish them all the best.

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