Bahamas, July 20, 2017 – Grand Bahama – Bahamahost held a graduation ceremony for 415 persons from Bahamas Immigration, Treasure Bay Casino, Public Service Drivers, Bishop Michael Eldon High School, Sunland Baptist Academy, Grand Bahama Academy, Pineforest Academy, Jack Hayward High School and St. Georges High School at Calvary Temple, July 18, 2017.
Guest speaker for the event was Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Travis Robinson. Also in attendance were Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Communication in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Rev. Frederick McAlpine, Member of Parliament for Pineridge Constituency, Director of Tourism for Grand Bahama Betty Bethel, and other tourism officials.
Said Mr. Robinson, a country that was number one in tourism should not be “Reclaiming our culture of service excellence” as the theme of the graduation stated, but instead should be moving forward. With the large number of graduates, he said, he was hopeful as more people are understanding the importance of the product.
He said in the focus on tourism and how to maximize its benefits, “we need to master what we have, and that’s customer service.”
He continued, “When we think about the countries in the Caribbean, Jamaica and all of the likes, they have sun, sand and sea just like we do, and we celebrate that. Yes, we have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And we talk about that everywhere we go. What is it that separates us from all of the other countries around the world that call themselves tourist destinations? Ladies and gentlemen, graduates, it is our hospitality. The way we greet and interact with our visitors on a daily basis.”
The Parliamentary Secretary explained that the Ministry will take an aggressive approach to educate the population that tourism is serious business as seventy cents from every dollar that we spend comes from it.
Director of Tourism for Grand Bahama, Betty Bethel spoke to the graduates about the importance of what she described as the foundational principles of any culture: honesty, integrity and pride.
“As you all know, our destination is in a state of emergency and you would also know that our government is working feverishly to turn it around. The role you will play when our destination has been fully restored again, as a vibrant centre for tourism, will be to activate everything that you have learned recently in Bahama Host training, combined with the fundamental skills and attributes that speak to honesty, integrity and pride — the values that industry leaders look for first in all persons vying to be in our tourism sector.
Ms. Bethel encouraged the graduates to be honest with themselves when deciding a career in the tourism industry. “It is a selfless act when a desire to provide service excellence trumps everything else. If this is not you, then you do not belong in the service industry. And this is where honesty comes in. Please be honest with yourselves when choosing or continuing a career in the tourism industry.”
She congratulated the graduates on their accomplishment and added that it comes at a time when all equipped, skilled and dedicated people in the tourism industry are needed in Grand Bahama.
Press Release: BIS
ADDRESSING BAHAMAHOST GRADUATES – Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Travis Robinson, on Tuesday, July 18, addressed over 400 graduates of Bahamahost. The event was held at Calvary Temple in Freeport.
BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn