Nassau, Bahamas – Further to the announcement by Bahamas Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie from the floor of the House on Wednesday that the official website of the Ministry of Tourism had been hacked, the Ministry of Tourism wishes to update the public on the facts surrounding the incident and the immediate steps taken by the government to mitigate further national security breaches.
The Bahamas government can confirm that several government-owned websites including the Ministry of Tourism websites, www.bahamas.com and www.bahamasfilm.com, were hacked on Wednesday morning apparently by members of a Tunisian Islamist activist group called the “Fallaga Team.”
All defaced sections of the government-owned websites were quickly removed and a corrected version redeployed and with the restoration of ALL compromised pages, all affected websites are now back to normal modes of operation.
The evidence collected has been turned over to the relevant local authorities and the matter is currently under active investigation.
As a short term strategy and in an abundance of caution, all government websites have been checked for possible breaches, safeguarded and reinforced against potential vulnerabilities by the implementation of software patching.
As a long term strategy and being cognizant of the fact that we live in an era where cyber-terrorism poses clear and present dangers to our national security, the government of The Bahamas will convene a meeting of industry experts to review the entire government owned internet related infrastructure with a view to determining what, if any, additional measures can be taken to deliver the strongest possible cyber-security protocol.
It is the intent of the government to cause to be established a permanent public/private sector committee that will meet regularly, conduct regular audits of public internet infrastructure and advise the government on matters of cyber-security so as to inform public policy going forward.
Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe underscored the importance of the internet as the dominant platform for global communications, trade and commerce. He also pointed out that such technological advancements attract the burden of opportunistic and unscrupulous individuals using these legitimate platforms for nefarious purposes, therefore the government of The Bahamas necessarily gave this breach its serious and immediate attention.
“IT networks, websites and social media have become essential communications tools used to conduct business in The Bahamas as is the case globally” said the Tourism Minister. “We know that with today’s increasingly sophisticated malware, simply navigating to a compromised website or opening a document can unleash a whole slew of malware onto a user’s computer and can shut down entire networks, causing serious disruptions to government’s operations, to national trade and commerce and can sometimes cause serious harm to a country’s international reputation.
“As a consequence” continued the minister, “hackers have special or invasive means of identifying weak spots for nefarious purposes. This matter has been given serious attention and we will spare no effort in protecting and safeguarding these valuable assets and as demonstrated this morning, we are ready with an immediate fix as we did yesterday morning.”
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation “Bringing The Bahamas” to Cities Across the Globe
#TheBahamas, August 16, 2022 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation will launch a series of Global Sales and Marketing Missions through May 2023, beginning in Florida and New York next month. Missions are planned for the USA, Latin America, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.
“As the catalyst to the growth and development of the Tourism industry these past 50+ years, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is focused on the maximization of the return on our investment,” said the Honourable I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation.
DPM Cooper and Acting Director General of Tourism, Latia Duncombe, will lead the missions.
“We’ve invited a cross-section of hoteliers and stakeholders to join the missions in promoting our Brand as the industry rebounds, and as we work to generate new leads and recapture market share,” said Mrs. Duncombe.
The BMOTIA senior executive members will meet with wholesalers, travel specialists, media contacts, potential investors, airlines, and corporate stakeholders. During these events, attendees will have the opportunity to:
- Meet Tourism specialists across the product segments
- Engage in questions and answers
- Learn about new developments and product offerings by key industry stakeholders
- Experience Bahamian culture through local cuisine, music, cocktails, and special Junkanoo performances, which will be making its triumphant return to Nassau.
Having maintained “It’s Better in The Bahamas” appeal, the myriad of hotel brands – all-inclusive and self-catering properties – complements the Ministry’s 16-island identification of diverse cultures and experiences.
ADG Duncombe confirmed that the industry’s forecast for the remainder of the year and through March 2023 is very promising, and marketing initiatives will further concretize the Bahamas’ Global Brand. “We hope these events will inspire our partners, leaders, and representatives, and that we will collectively keep the heartbeat of our economy alive by working together,” she said.
The “Bringing The Bahamas to You” Global Missions will bring a taste of Bahamian culture across the globe to inspire travel to the destination.
For more information, please visit Bahamas.com/GlobalMissions2022.
2023 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show Announcement
#TheBahamas, August 16, 2022 – The Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM), in conjunction with the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA), and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, is proud to announce the 2023 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show (BCYS), to be held in Nassau, Bahamas on February 23rd – 26th, 2023.
The 2023 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show will be one of the top international charter shows in the world, and bring together charter yachts, charter yacht brokers & managers, Bahamian marinas, marine & yacht trade companies. Yacht charter has increased greatly in The Bahamas in the last ten years, and now plays an integral part in The Bahamas’ boating and yachting tourism, providing millions of dollars to the nation’s treasury in terms of charter fees, and millions directly into the Bahamian economy through direct expenditures.
The goal of the BCYS is to (1) allow charter yachts that charter in the islands of The Bahamas to showcase their yachts and crew to charter brokers and charter managers from around the world, (2) allow marinas and resort properties from around The Bahamas to showcase their individual locations, and (3) allow local Bahamian companies that cater to and benefit from yachts being in The Bahamas, to showcase their products and services directly to the yachts and charter brokers.
This year’s show is based primarily in downtown Nassau and will include the following marinas and properties:
- Baystreet Marina
- Atlantis Resort & Marina
- Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina
- Nassau Yacht Haven Marina
- The Pointe Marina
- Margaritaville Beach Resort & Marina Nassau
In addition, ABM marinas from throughout The Bahamas will be on hand sharing what makes their Out Island destinations perfect for yacht charters.
The Bahamas Charter Yacht Show is comprised of a partnership with the Association of Bahamas Marinas, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, and the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA). The 2023 Bahamas Charter Yacht Show is chaired by Joe
Dargavage, Managing Partner of the Romora Bay Resort & Marina and President of the Association of Bahamas Marinas, Ms. Erika Feszt, Assistant Manager and Peter Maury, General Manager of Baystreet Marina, and Ms. Laura Garcia, Partner at United Island & Yacht.
For all information, visit https://bahamascharteryachtshow.com.
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PM Davis says Regional UNFCCC Meeting Attendees share a ‘determination to make important progress’ on climate change issues
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services
#NASSAU, The Bahamas, August 16, 2022 – – During his Official Remarks at the Opening Plenary Session of the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of The Parties 27 (COP 27), on August 16, 2022, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis noted to attendees that they all shared a determination to make important progress together in the coming days.
“As many of you know, the end of August and the beginning of September has become a very poignant time on the Bahamian calendar,” Prime Minister Davis pointed out, at the Meeting, held at Baha Mar Convention Centre. “September 1st will make three years since Hurricane Dorian landed on our shores.”
“The physical, psychological, social, and economic damages are still very much with us,” he added. “Across the world, we’ve seen the intense heatwaves, wildfires, and droughts that are further, terrible evidence of the accelerating impact of climate change.”
“One thing is clear: success will require collective action,” he said.
“If we advance our interests merely as individual Small Island Developing States, our voices will be dispersed, unable to be heard above louder, wealthier, carbon-producing interests,” he added.
Prime Minister Davis said: “Friends: There really is strength in numbers; and if we stand together, we are less likely to fall apart. And so this regional meeting is critical. Our shared characteristics go beyond our physical geography.
“We need to find effective, efficient ways to adapt to new realities,” he added. “We have to re-structure our lives and our living environment to mitigate against the disasters which are becoming more frequent and more severe.
“Easy to say – much harder to pay for.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that the Caribbean had been identified as the region with the largest number of indebted countries. He said that while there were multiple reasons for this, in many cases a major contributor to debt is borrowing associated with recovery efforts from the impact of climate change.
“Here in The Bahamas, we undertook an exercise which revealed that more than 50% of our outstanding debt can be linked to the impacts of the hurricanes which descended on us between 2015 and 2019,” Prime Minister Davis said. “Our countries are struggling with debts accumulated by climate disasters.”
He added: “What does this mean for the development of our nations, when our risk profile is becoming so severe that insurers question their willingness to offer risk facilities to offset climate disasters? Put simply, we are in danger of becoming uninsurable.”
Prime Minister Davis said that many, if not all, of the countries represented at the Meeting had already faced challenges in accessing climate-related funds.
By acting in “common cause”, he said, they could move with more authority and with greater impact to address legacy issues which have held them back from making meaningful progress.
“This is not to say that there aren’t differences among us,” he noted. “With some issues, we can agree to disagree. With others, we can use this forum to find and build consensus before we engage with our colleagues around the world.”
Prime Minister Davis said that COP26 in Glasgow promised a renewed commitment to act. He noted that in the prior two weeks, both the United States and Australia had taken “historic” steps forward to address emissions.
“But the conflict in Ukraine, spiraling inflation in energy costs along with other goods and services, and significant disruption to supply chains, have put pressures on the promises to restrain carbon emissions around the world,” Prime Minister Davis said.
“The progress in the United States and Australia is important,” he pointed out. “The world’s wealthiest and most powerful countries generate 80% of global emissions. They can act – when they choose to.”
“Their progress also shows nothing is inevitable, in this great fight of our time,” Prime Minister Davis pointed out. “We cannot get stuck, or allow others to languish in inaction, when forward motion is required.”
Prime Minister noted that there was much room for innovation.
“I don’t just mean technological innovation – I also mean innovation in the way we think about climate challenges and solutions,” he said. “Consider, for example, the Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL), which emerged from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda earlier this summer.
“The Call to Action highlights the importance of building natural resilience by stopping and reversing biodiversity loss, and developing nature-based and ecosystem-based approaches to combating climate change.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that, if it was true that almost all of the hard work fighting climate change lies ahead of them all, it was also true that their ingenuity was up to the challenge.
“And so, Friends, I encourage your most active and vigorous participation in these discussions. Let us bring our best ideas to the table,” he said. “Let us work together to construct a joint solution in respect of climate risk insurance and other climate risk facilities.
“And let us take practical steps to improve access to climate finance.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that they were well-aware that, going into COP27, work was underway to advance the implementation of a Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, along with the establishment of a Loss and Damage Facility.
“These are important tools to support our countries,” he said.
“However, we also need to ensure that risk or insurance facilities are also in the toolbox of solutions to help our people,” Prime Minister Davis added. “Access to climate finance should not be unclear or cumbersome. And the application of per capita overseas development assistance eligibility should not be taken as the main consideration for offering climate finance; if so, means that many Caribbean states would be frozen out from the start.”
Prime Minister Davis said that they should all work together to advance the use of a Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Index to reflect the true needs of Small Island Developing States; and work to persuade donors and partners to ensure that all SIDS are eligible for access to bilateral climate financing.
“Colleagues, we are at an important time, when the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance is currently being assessed by countries operating within the UNFCCC framework,” he said.
“If we can do the heavy lifting here, our chances of success are greatly improved,” he added. “We are more likely to avoid the mistakes of the past.
“And we will have a greater chance of securing better futures for us all.”
Prime Minister Davis said that it was his “fervent hope” that the meeting becomes an annual event, one where common interests, shared objectives and mutually-accepted protocols, lead to “outcomes which will ensure our very survival”.
“It is no exaggeration to say that our very lives depend on it; and the only way forward is together,” he said.
Photo Caption: Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis speaks, on August 16, 2022 at Baha Mar, during his Official Remarks at the Opening Plenary Session of the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of The Parties 27 (COP 27), which will take place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in November.
(BIS Photos/Eric Rose)
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