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HAITI: Henfield says competitive forces, natural disasters, are among factors impacting Caribbean Tourism

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#Haiti, March 4, 2018 – Port-Au-Prince – Competitive forces, under-funding, along with the ravages of destructive natural disasters such as hurricanes are two of the key factors impacting Caribbean Tourism, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Darren Henfield told a Caribbean Community Plenary Session Tuesday.

Delivering the Opening Statement for The Bahamas during the Session on Tourism after which he introduced Bahamian Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar (Mr. D’Aguilar made a PowerPoint Presentation to the Plenary Session on Tourism) — Mr. Henfield said, in 2017, the region’s share of global arrivals contracted and stood at 2.3% at the end of the year, compared to 2.4% in 2016.

Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis serves as Head of Government of the Caribbean Community responsible for Tourism. Mr. Henfield assumed the Chair as Head of Delegation for The Bahamas following Prime Minister Minnis’ departure Monday evening.  Mr. Henfield said Caribbean Tourism “is under-funded and losing ground.”

“Under the present circumstances the tourism sector will languish at levels below its potential productivity; and in the absence of a reliable funding source, the Caribbean will continue to lurch from one crisis to the next in a hapless quest for ways to buffer the region’s image against the ravages of competitive forces and natural disasters.”

Mr. Henfield said fortunately, “the solution is within our grasp.”

“What is needed is a sustained, effective effort to generate consumer demand, excite travelers and the travel industry, and stave off the region’s rapidly growing competition.  To do this will require a reliable, consumer-generated funding source to create and maintain the kind of marketing presence recommended here.”

Mr. Henfield said the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have recommended that the Caribbean develop the means to implement (in 2018), a consumer-generated funding mechanism that would collectively raise the money for an ongoing marketing initiative.

The primary source for this funding would be a small levy on air transportation of between US$1 to US$2 per passenger traveling to the Caribbean from outside the region.  It is proposed that intra-Caribbean travel would be exempt from the levy.

“The goal is to generate a sum of US$20 million annually to implement a sustained effort,” Mr. Henfield said.  “A $20 million investment, in relation to the number of visitors the region hosts annually, (30.1 million stay-overs in 2017), would allow the region to begin to proactively build the Caribbean brand and to be ready to protect the brand in times of crisis, through a prepared plan.”

Funds collected will be deposited into a specially designated marketing fund account, administered by the Caribbean Coalition for Tourism.

“One-to-two U.S. dollars per passenger is an equitable amount across Caribbean destinations and will not erode the competitive position of any participating country,” Mr. Henfield said.   “Most importantly, that small amount will not dissuade any consumer from taking a Caribbean vacation, but cumulatively will provide measurable benefits to every participating country.

“This does not preclude support as well, from the private sector through sponsorships, specific promotional initiatives and active engagement.  A separate and related dialogue is also being advanced to the cruise sector.  The Caribbean receives an estimated 30% to 35% of all cruise ship deployments worldwide.”

Mr. Henfield said the understanding is that a critical mass of countries is the goal for proceeding with a campaign, accepting that countries “which are slower to participate should not retard the progress of those that are ready to get started.”

By: Matt Maura (BIS)

 

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Minister Moxey says partnerships for development will help get Grand Bahama going again

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#TheBahamas, November 27, 2021 – One means by which Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey plans to utilize every resource at her disposal to get things moving for Grand Bahama again, is to utilize partnerships for development.

“Success with these partnerships on our island are embedded in collaborative efforts between the ministry of Grand Bahama, other government ministries, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson Whampoa Holdings Ltd., industry stakeholders and the business community at large,” explained Minister Moxey.

“We must unite and work together to build alliances for success with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Grand Bahama Island excels.  We are all in this together.”

The Minister’s remarks came during her keynote address at the ninth annual Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort. The event is held to honor Grand Bahamian business owners for their commitment, achievements and dedication to the development of the second city.

Minister Moxey pointed out that this year’s event, under the theme, celebration of excellence, acknowledges and highlights businesses on Grand Bahama that have stayed the course. She added that this kind of recognition is a beacon of hope for local business owners who have faced and overcame some of the most challenging circumstances ever encountered within the island’s history.

“On November first during my contribution on the bill to thank the Governor General for his Speech from the Throne, I pledged to the nation that I would do the people’s business and utilize every resource at my disposal, to get the job done for Grand Bahama,” said Minister Moxey.

“As a Grand Bahamian and business owner, I can attest to the challenges we have faced over the past decade. The devastation of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, which was closely followed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. It further strained our already fragile economy. Today’s administration is also well aware of the challenges that Grand Bahama has faced over the past decade. Nevertheless, we will deliver on our commitment to recover, rebuild and revolutionize our island, our economy and usher our people into the new day.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses represented today, that have kept their doors opened and our people employed. To all of the Business Excellence Award nominees, I congratulate you. Remain encouraged and know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“To the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, thank you for being a staple in the business community and for celebrating excellence for the past nine years. Welcome back business excellence awards.”

 

By Andrew Coakley

Photo Caption: Minister for Grand Bahama, Ginger Moxey (right), along with President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, Greg Laroda presents Mrs. Leslie Baptista, of Paint Fair, with the President’s Award, during the ninth annual GB Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon, which was held on Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 at Pelican Bay resort.

(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Invest Turks and Caicos Attended Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit

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#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2021 – Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is pleased to announce the Agency’s participation in the 10TH Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) held November 10th-12th, 2021, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

CHICOS is one of the premier hospitality conferences in the region. In its 10th year, this event brought together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators and the region’s leading decision makers – all to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities.

Invest TCI participated in the Caribbean Government Leaders plenary session on Friday, November 12th, alongside the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest St. Lucia, and JAMPRO. The plenary discussions focused on the investment environment of Caribbean economies in a post covid environment under two key themes: diversification of the economy and tourism and the need for greater involvement of (and positive impact on) local communities.

Attending the summit on behalf of Invest TCI was Interim CEO, Angela Musgrove and Legal and Compliance Officer, Judith Garland.

Commenting on the summit, Ms. Garland stated, “I was delighted to represent the Agency at the 10th Anniversary edition of CHICOS. I found the sessions engaging, and the industry trends and knowledge imparted was most valuable. It was great to meet new faces and establish relationships with industry colleagues, which can present mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships in the future.

Interim CEO Angela Musgrove stated, “Invest TCI will continue to support and leverage industry conferences to promote opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the Agency’s 5th year attending CHICOS, and it has allowed us to directly engage with potential investors and prospects interested in doing business in the TCI. Through these types of events, the Agency can continue to proactively target new investment opportunities, lucrative partnerships, and financial opportunities that contribute to overall economic development.”

For more information on upcoming events, visit our website at investturksandcaicos.tc.

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Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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