Friday, July 28, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said in his national address July 26, that the government is committed to supporting the tourism industry to bring further growth to the economy.
During the address he said that renovations at the Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama, which was hit hard by Hurricane Matthew last year, are expected to begin within the next month, with the resort expected to be ready in time for the 2017 Winter Season.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said that the government is intent on completing work on the Grand Lucayan “as rapidly and as sustainably as possible” and thereafter sell its equity to one of the existing partners or other investors.
Minnis said the government has also identified a number of integrated travel and hospitality companies that can bring not only quality brands to Grand Bahama, “but also much-needed air transportation.”
Prime Minister Minnis said his administration will focus on a number of tourism initiatives “to get our economy going again,”while not excluding the urgent need for diversification within tourism and other sectors and other potential areas of growth.
“I recently toured Baha Mar where I received assurances from the managers of the hotel of a timeline for the mega-resort coming fully on stream. This will help to improve the fiscal condition of the country inclusive of public revenue,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“I have also visited Atlantis on Paradise Island. It is most important to our economy that both of these mega-resorts succeed. My administration will do all that we can to ensure this outcome.”
Minnis said statistics show that while at least 65 per cent of the economic activity and more than 50 per cent of jobs in The Bahamas are delivered from the tourism sector, just 60 per cent of the country’s hotel and resort rooms are occupied annually.
“If we manage to achieve near 80 per cent occupancy in our hotels on a year-round basis, we will increase our economic activity and jobs from tourism by one-third,” he said.
“I have spoken at some length on Grand Lucayan, Atlantis and Baha Mar, but my government will also address the needs of the more than 250 smaller and licensed properties in Nassau, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and throughout our Family Islands.”
“We will introduce further incentives to small hotels where local produce is on the menu,” Prime Minister Minnis added.