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Freeport “ripe for growth” says new tourism chair

The newly elected chairman of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) has vowed to work with the Ministry of Tourism to "get the island back on its feet." 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Thursday, July 18, 2013

The newly elected chairman of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) says Freeport is “ripe for growth” and vows to work with the Ministry of Tourism to “get the island back on its feet.”

Russell Miller (pictured), chief executive officer of the Freeport-based Modalena Company Ltd, who was appointed to the GBITB earlier this month, says the island is poised for investment.


“Grand Bahama, and in particular Freeport, has all the required infrastructure needed for business to take place. Great roads, a great airport that has recently been upgraded and one of the finest harbours in the region. All these factors make Freeport ripe for growth.”

Miller, who has over 30 years experience in the hotel sector, believes Grand Bahama needs an “anchor project” to breathe new life into the destination and raise its profile in an increasingly competitive market.

“There has been no investment in Grand Bahama for eight to 10 years,” he says. “The island needs a major anchor project to come and attract other business. We need to do something like what Atlantis did for Nassau. We need a major investment that will sustain the tourism product.”

“It is a very competitive market out there. There are a lot of island destinations that we are competing against. Grand Bahama has to come up with something different and special.”

Miller, a former general manager of the Ocean Club on Paradise Island, says the GBITB will be investing in increased marketing and public relations efforts to make the destination more visible.

“We have to work on getting the name of Freeport back into the market,” he says. “We have to exhaust all means to communicate that the island of Grand Bahama is open.”

He acknowledges that the GBITB has been “defunct” in recent years saying: “We have to make some changes, the board has not been an active, properly functioning board. Everyone is in agreement that we have to come together and undertake a new direction.”

He is presently organizing a retreat for members of the board and hopes to appoint a new vice chairman, secretary and treasurer within the coming weeks.

cmorris@dupuch.com

Genting Group’s Bimini SuperFast ferry received clearance from the US Coast Guard and is ready to set sail on Saturday, the company said yesterday.

The website myoutislands.com promotes the Bahamas' Family Islands. Watch a video about the islands of The Exumas here.

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