#Nassau, Bahamas – January 23, 2020 — “Today, it is with great pride we report that The Islands of The Bahamas has exceeded a record-breaking seven million visitors in 2019 – our strongest tourism numbers in history. This is a tremendous accomplishment, particularly in light of the challenging year we, as a country just endured. I stand before you with tremendous gratitude and admiration for every single one of my fellow Bahamians who have showed the world the true meaning of resilience.
We have a few historical moments to record for 2019 and they are:
Highest recorded amount of stopover visitors ever at 1.78 million
Highest recorded amount of stopover visitors ever from the United States 1.45 million
A whopping 7.216 Million Total Visitor Arrivals
The impact of Hurricane Dorian has not slowed The Bahamas’ tourism growth.
HOW WE GOT HERE
The Ministry attributes this historic success to the hard work and dedication of Bahamians at all levels of the tourism industry who have ensured that The Bahamas is open for business and still rockin’!
This, combined with data-driven, agile marketing, authentic storytelling, and aggressive PR, sales and airlift strategies have lead to 2019 being one for the history books.
Last year was one for the history books. As a nation, we have faced tremendous tragedy brought to us by Hurricane Dorian, the effects of which we will feel in our hearts forever. However, the Bahamian people stood together, remaining strong and resilient, and the world took notice. We are in awe of our country, and deeply grateful for the outpouring of support and assistance from friends, partners, and even strangers from around the globe.
At the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, our priority is to safeguard The Bahamas’ economy through initiatives that will fuel the critical tourism sector. We began our campaign in the days immediately following Hurricane Dorian and have remained diligently aggressive ever since. Ministry executives have traveled to New York and Miami, to Canada, London, Australia and Paris, speaking at top tourism conferences and meeting with travel partners, media and influencers to spread the message that The Bahamas is open, beautiful and ready to welcome all with open arms. This sentiment has been embraced wholeheartedly, sparking international headlines and content encouraging travel to our islands.
Prior to Hurricane Dorian, tourism was thriving at a record level. Last year, we saw many accomplishments – we hosted 41 media and influencers across several islands to generate compelling stories about The Bahamas. Together with our industry partners, the MOT hosted sales and media missions in many of our key designated marketing areas. We launched a successful marketing campaign with the legendary rock star Lenny Kravitz, graced the cover and pages of Sports Illustrated’s highly anticipated swimsuit issue and witnessed the production of a primetime television show come to life in Nassau and on screens across the U.S. The main goal? Inspire travel to our remarkable country.
We look forward to building upon the success of our marketing efforts and continuing the momentum in 2020
With the dedication of the Bahamian people, we will continue to show the world that The Bahamas is still rockin’ and urge travelers to add the destination to their 2020 travel plans.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is dedicated to continuing this momentum into 2020 to show and tell the world just why they should continue to Fly Away to The Islands Of The Bahamas. We have an aggressive sales and marketing
plan for 2020. We are particularly excited about the opportunity to capitalize on Super Bowl LIV happening in our key source market, with targeted media activations during and around key Super Bowl events. Media placements include local broadcast TV, billboards, aerial media, geotargeted digital ads, mobile billboards, booths and captivating digital banners at Aventura Mall and Sawgrass Mall.
In addition, we are kicking off the New Year with increased airlift, exciting events and major award nominations. Additional airlift options in Boston, Denver and Houston will bring visitors to The Bahamas during peak travel season this spring. The Bahamas has been nominated as a top destination for romance, luxury, cruising, diving and more in multiple awards so far this year, proving that The Bahamas is better than ever and Still Rockin’.
This is indeed a win for all Bahamians and I wish to personally thank each and every Bahamian, including you the media for contributing to this phenomenal success.”
Hon Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation – REMARKS PROVIDED BY BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM & AVIATION
Agreement inked between Bahamas and Dubai
#DUBAI, UAE, January 18, 2022 – A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Hon. Fred Mitchell and His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, today in Dubai.
The signing of this MOU begins a fruitful relationship between The Bahamas and the UAE. The UAE government is committed to providing technical assistance through their Technical Assistance Programme. Embedded in the agreement, is a provision that at least fifty percent of the participants in the training programme are women.
Both The Bahamas and UAE are committed to working together on several fronts for the mutual advancement of both countries. The exchange of information will be invaluable as The Bahamas continues to push through the setbacks of the pandemic toward national and economic growth.
Photo Caption: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas the Hon. Philip Davis, centre, Minister Mitchell, left, and HE Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan Al Nahyan.
MP’s Graduate with Parliamentary Governance Certificates
January 18, 2022 – The Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU), in partnership with the Conservatives Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) Programme, held an Online Graduation Ceremony on Friday January 14th 2022 for fifteen (15) Members of Parliament who successfully completed a one year certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance with McGill University in Canada.
This professional development certificate programme is recognized by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and provided MP’s with important theoretical and practical knowledge in executing their roles and responsibilities as legislators. Sponsorship for the MP’s was provided by the Conservatives WFD Programme.
The successful graduates included:
- Tracy Panton– MP Albert, UDP, Belize
- Shyne Barrow – MP, Mesopotamia, UDP, Belize
- Senator Hon. Sheena Pitts – UDP, Belize
- Kerensia Morrison – MP St. Catherine North Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
- Tova Hamilton – MP, Trelawny Northern, JLP, Jamaica
- Dr. Michelle Charles – MP, St. Thomas Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
- Tamika Davis – MP, Hanover Western, JLP, Jamaica
- Rhoda Crawford – MP, Manchester Central, JLP, Jamaica
- Anne Marie Vaz – MP, Portland Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
- Krstyal Lee – MP, St. Anne North Western, JLP, Jamaica
- Robert Miller – MP St. Catherine South Eastern, JLP, Jamaica
- Heroy Clarke – MP, St. James Central, JLP, Jamaica
- Dwight Sibblies – MP, Clarendon Northern, JLP, Jamaica
- Morland Wilson – MP, Westmoreland Western, JLP, Jamaica
- Senator Hon. Shevern John – NDP, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The Online Graduation Ceremony was attended by The Most Hon. Andrew Holness Prime Minister of Jamaica, Maria Miller Conservative MP UK, Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday Leader of the Opposition St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Patrick Faber Leader of the Opposition Belize, Carola Weil Dean of Continuing Studies McGill University, Nick Francis Secretary General CDU, and other officials from the UK Conservative Party’s International Department and Faculty and Staff from McGill University.
Mr. Nick Francis in his remarks at the ceremony noted that this initiative was birthed through greater engagement and consultation with stakeholders in the region in light of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and he was grateful to the administrators at McGill University for partnering with the CDU and the Conservatives WFD Programme to make this online training possible.
Hon. Patrick Faber and Dr. Hon. Godwin Friday extended congratulations to the graduates and expressed gratitude to the Conservatives WFD Programme, the CDU and McGill University on this successful collaboration to enhance parliamentary democracy in their respective countries.
A second cohort of trainees will commence the Parliamentary Governance Certificate with McGill University in March of this year and will include young prospective MP’s.
Dean of Continuing Studies at McGill University Carola Weil extended congratulations to the fifteen (15) MP’s for successfully completing the yearlong certificate programme in Parliamentary Governance and noted that this was an “important step towards the continuation of good governance and democracy around the world”
In addressing the graduates at the ceremony, Prime Minster the Most Hon. Andrew Holness noted his expectations that the training received will help to inform their advocacy, guide their involvement in policy development, and “contribute to a new cadre of political representatives that will always strive for the highest standards of excellence in governance, in parliamentary practice, and in political representation.”
Conservative MP Maria Miller UK in a pre-recorded message to the graduates (the majority being new female MP’s) noted that in light of the challenges facing women in politics, “the Conservative WFD Programme is committed to strengthening democracy by creating a much more inclusive, accountable and transparent political system.”
Press Release: CDU
PM Davis’ Remarks at Wreath Laying Ceremony – Majority Rule Day 2022
Happy Majority Rule Day to all and thank you for coming
I thank the organizers of this wreath laying ceremony because this auspicious occasion is a symbolic reminder of the significant role the Progressive Liberal Party and the Father of the Nation played in bringing about one of the most consequential and transformational events in our history, eclipsed only by the abolition of slavery in 1834.
With the addition of National Independence on 10th July 1973, these three epic events changed the course of Bahamian history forever and etched in the annals of history the Bahamian national identity and the depth of our indomitable spirit.
We must never grow weary of telling our story lest we lose our identity and heritage as a people.
Further — and more nationally — as a free, modern, democratic and independent state, history must record that Majority Rule Day is also an occasion where all Bahamians come together to reflect on and celebrate the enduring principles of democracy. Today then, I stand with my Bahamian brothers and sisters from all walks of life in memorializing this day as a seminal moment in the ever-evolving Bahamian story.
MAJORITY RULE IS A MAJOR TRIUMPH FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM, HUMANITARIAN PRINCIPLES THAT WE HOLD NEAR AND DEAR TO OUR HEARTS. THESE PRINCIPLES ARE ALSO THE CHIEF PHILOSOPHICAL CORNER STONES AND PILLARS ON WHICH THIS COUNTRY WAS BUILT AND WILL SUSTAIN US FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.
We must never allow our detractors to minimize, trivialize or relegate this great day and event to the scrap heap of historical irrelevance. To do so is to dishonour the vision, memory and legacy of those great courageous souls on whose shoulders we stand.
We cannot and must not conveniently disinherit our glorious legacy because our truth is inconvenient to some.
A cause rooted in social justice, freedom fighters courageously stood in the vanguard of change – unyielding in their demand that all were created equal — with God-given rights to human dignity without regard to race, gender, colour or creed. This stand of conscience galvanized a nation, a generation of Bahamians, and in the process significantly reshaped the character and national identity of The Bahamas forever.
I pay tribute to the many unsung heroes and heroines whose endearing and enduring legacies of selflessness and shared sacrifices remain the gold standard of our national culture in both public life and in the way we conduct our personal affairs with one another.
I continue to draw, conviction, inspiration and influence from the passion of the Suffragettes, the labour movement, the church and from countless Bahamians who put it all on the line to secure a more perfect Commonwealth.
Speaking of passion, conviction, inspiration and influence, I wish to take a moment to recount the role the late Sir Sidney Poitier played and the contributions he made during our journey to Majority Rule.
Many Bahamians still recall his speaking to the issue at a reception in his honour to the then United Bahamian Party (UBP) government in recognition of his Academy Award for ‘Lilies of the Field.’
A well-known story in PLP circles is his assistance to the Progressive Liberal Party in the run up to the 1967 general elections. There is an iconic photo of Sir Sidney and Sir Lynden at the back of an open limousine celebrating the 1967 victory.
May he rest in peace.
As a beneficiary of their sacrificial work, I thank them all — Sir Lynden Pindling, Sir Milo Butler, Sir Randal Fawkes, Sir Clifford Darling, Dame Doris Johnson and Sir Sidney Poitier — for their passion, faith, perseverance and uncompromising commitment to social justice, democracy, freedom and a sense of fair play.
It is indeed an honour and a privilege to stand on their broad proverbial shoulders to continue their invaluable work in building a stronger and more perfect Commonwealth to positively impact the lives of generations yet unborn.
Our cause is indeed national, inclusive and intergenerational in its nature, range and scope.
On behalf of my wife Ann Marie, my cabinet and parliamentary colleagues, my government, the officers and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, I extend best wishes and highest regards to the people of The Bahamas as we celebrate Fifty-Five years of Majority Rule.
May Almighty God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
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