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Wilchcombe: Tourism drives development

The Bahamas is realizing the trickle down benefits of its growing tourism industry, according to Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, who made the comment during his address at the Small Island Developing States conference in Nassau earlier this week. Pictured: Obie Wilchcombe speaks at the Small Island Developing States Conference on 19 Feb 2014. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith)

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Friday, February 21, 2014
Friday, February 21, 2014

The Bahamas is realizing the trickle down benefits of its growing tourism industry, according to Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, who said that the economic benefits are being felt in all aspects of the community from healthcare to education and are a driver for development across the board.

“The Bahamas offers a unique model of how tourism can work. We have been able to provide for sustained growth,” he said, addressing the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) conference in Nassau earlier this week. “We have a tremendous amount of opportunities. We can use tourism to alleviate poverty. We have been able to grow our nation and we are continuing to do so.”


The Minister took part in a panel discussing the local benefits of tourism alongside representatives from the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Maritime Institute. He spoke of the importance of Caribbean leaders working together to grow the industry–by reducing impediments to trade and increasing airlift.

Negotiating “workable” tariffs would help The Bahamas reduce its $1 billion food import bill, said the Minister, and allow the country to develop its own agricultural sector in order to supply produce to local hotels and cruise ships.

Despite the recent economic downturn, the Minister was optimistic about the industry’s future, saying: “Tourism will continue to grow. In spite of the recession people still travel.”

The two-day SIDS conference ran 19-20 February at the Melia Resort on Cable Beach. Prime Minister Perry Christie delivered the keynote address and was joined at the event by secretary general of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, as well as Caribbean Tourism Organization’s secretary general Hugh Riley.

cmorris@dupuch.com

The government of The Bahamas is to sign an extended Heads of Agreement for a major expansion of the Albany luxury residential development on New Providence. Watch a ZNS Network news report here.

The US Internal Revenue Service yesterday released a fact sheet on the last substantial package of regulations necessary for the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Download or view the fact sheet here.

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