They’re not getting off the ship as a result of there’s not sufficient to do” was the message delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper to Grand Bahama’s tourism stakeholders and entrepreneurs as he urged them to create extra companies that cater to and supply an actual cultural expertise for vacationers coming to the island.
Cooper spoke at a reception on Saturday night hosted by the ministry within the Pavilion, Lighthouse Pointe, on the Grand Lucayan resort.
He was accompanied by senior tourism executives, together with the newly appointed Director Common of Tourism Latia Duncombe, Deputy Director Common Dr. Kenneth Romer and senior executives from the US, Canada and European workplaces.
“I name on you, subsequently, to create extra issues to do,” Cooper stated.
“Create extra alternatives; get them off the ship. We may deliver them right here however we can’t extract the cash from their pockets. We’re counting on you to try this.”
He added, “So, inform the tales of the caves and the appeal of Grand Bahama Island and the promise of the longer term. Take them to East Finish, to West Finish, and allow them to expertise the true appeal and pleasant nature of the Bahamian individuals, in order that they’ll really feel our hearts.”
Cooper stated that is what have to be accomplished as tourism executives search to advertise the islands of The Bahamas, significantly Grand Bahama Island.
The minister stated it’s projected that 500,000 cruise passengers will go to Grand Bahama this 12 months.
“When 10,000 individuals come and seven,000 keep on the ships, that’s not fairly success,” he stated.
“We would like all of them to return off, expertise the island and we wish them to return again time and again.
“You will notice new and elevated air capability when work begins on Grand Bahama Worldwide Airport earlier than March 31, 2023.
“The island has seen a renovated home airport terminal; you’ve seen the return of Sunwing’s continuous jet service and you will note extra airlift very quickly from Italy, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta.”
Nonetheless, he pressured that the stakeholders should do their half.
Cooper stated that when evaluating statistics from 2021 and 2022, the numbers point out that there was a 350 p.c enhance in vacationer arrivals.
“Once we evaluate these numbers to pre-Dorian and pandemic, we will let you know we’ve returned 80 p.c, and we’re nicely on the way in which,” he stated.
“That rebound 12 months to 12 months is probably the most vital rebound that we’ve seen in any of the opposite islands of The Bahamas.”
Whereas it is a nice signal for Grand Bahama, the minister stated there’s nonetheless a lot work to do.
“Now, I do know that there are some challenges and there’s nonetheless a lot work to do, however I guarantee you that the Ministry of Tourism’s management staff is dedicated to doing that work, and that’s the reason now we have the gross sales management and administrative staff right here,” he stated.
“The way forward for tourism appears nice, the longer term for Grand Bahama Island is solely phenomenal. We’ll proceed to deal with the wants of tourism in Grand Bahama, we’ll proceed to work on the airlift, we’ll proceed to work on the general capability and advertising and marketing of the island, and I wish to name on you to proceed to create extra pleasure in regards to the island of Grand Bahama.”
West Finish Ecology Tour Proprietor and host Captain Keith Cooper was excited to listen to in regards to the tourism ministry’s dedication in helping within the revitalization of Grand Bahama’s touristic product.
“The assist for the potential of Grand Bahama is overwhelming,” Cooper stated.
“The individuals of this island have to concentrate to what it’s the deputy prime minister stated and what it’s we have to be doing. I discovered a strategy to make one thing out of nothing.
“Everyone is searching for a possibility, however the alternatives are proper in entrance of our eyes. We have now them closed proper now, however we have to unfold them open and go searching us and see how we will bless ourselves by blessing the vacationers with the expertise of this island and to have the ability to present financial alternatives for ourselves.”
West Finish Ecology Excursions is predicated in West Finish, and promotes academic ecology, snorkeling and fishing experiences which are easy, pure and pure.
Chief Government Officer of Blue Inexperienced Outdoor and writer H. Rudy Sawyer stated he was happy to escort the visiting senior tourism executives on a tour of East Grand Bahama previous to the reception.
“Regardless that the time constraint solely allowed us to go so far as the Bahamas Nationwide Belief (BNT) Lucayan Nationwide Park, it was time sufficient to provide me the chance to share with them and to level out the good pure attributes on the island of Grand Bahama and, extra particularly, East GB,” Sawyer stated.
“They had been ready to enter the stomach of Ben’s Cave, see Gold Rock Seaside, to see the wetlands of the Lucayan Nationwide Park and to listen to the entire story not solely of East GB, however actually of the entire of the island, which is a pure gem as we undergo and selling what we’re in tourism.
“I used to be in a position to allow them to know in regards to the 44 seashores now we have on the island and to inform them about what they couldn’t see, the resilience of the individuals within the wake of Hurricane Dorian.”
He added, “We had been unable to keep away from seeing the useless Caribbean pine timber, however actually they had been in a position to get a fantastic understanding, higher now than they might have had earlier than [than] by simply staying of their workplaces.”