PRESS RELEASE (BIS) February 12, 2021 – During a one-day visit to Grand Bahama to tour the capital works projects currently underway, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on Thursday declared, Grand Bahama will be prepared for post-COVID.
While speaking with the media following a tour of West Grand Bahama and Central Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Minnis also said the curfew in Grand Bahama will be extended to 11pm shortly.
The Prime Minister arrived on Thursday morning accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Desmond Bannister and Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie Campbell. He was greeted by Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance and for Grand Bahama; the Hon. Michael Pintard, Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources; the Hon. Iram Lewis, Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction; Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Senator the Hon. Jasmine Darius; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Harcourt Brown; and other senior government officials.
The purpose of his visit, he said, was to see the progress made following the “catastrophic events” of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, “It is essential that Grand Bahama and the rest of The Bahamas be prepared for the post-COVID era.”
The tour began in West End where the Prime Minister and delegation viewed the dock and saw plans for the boat ramps and fishing station; the convoy then went to Holmes Rock Junior High School, the Administrative/Government Complex in Eight Mile Rock, with a stop at the Eight Mile Rock High School where the Prime Minister greeted some members of staff and a few students.
Hugh Campbell Primary School was the first stop when the group came back to Freeport; and then it was on to the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre, the Post Office, the Department of Agriculture and to Pelican Bay.
Describing the Administrative Complex as “high end” the Prime Minister noted it is of the standard design that should be replicated in the other islands.
He expressed pleasure in the number of people involved in backyard farming and the program’s growth.
The Prime Minister added that the hospital should be ready for official opening next month. The same company that designed the Critical Care Block of the Princess Margaret Hospital when the Prime Minister was the Minister of Health is currently designing the new hospital for Grand Bahama.
Cabinet is expected to deliberate on the airport, as the paperwork has been completed, said Dr. Minnis, and they are prepared to take over and put a management team in place.
As for Our Lucayan, he said it is “somewhat disappointing” that the property has not been reopened yet “unfortunately, we were affected by COVID just like the rest of the world; hotels around the world have been closed down and we were caught with that also.”
He further stated that professionals have come in and reviewed the agreements that were negotiated to make sure that they were compliant with international standards — “we’re getting the best price we possibly can at this point in time.”
“I can’t give you a date at this particular time, but what I can say is that as we come out of this COVID era, the hotels will be ready, the airlines will return and the airport will be ready so Grand Bahama will be ready for this rebound in terms of COVID.”
Following lunch at Pelican Bay, the delegation travelled to East Grand Bahama to view the road repairs, Freetown Primary School repairs, McLean’s Town Clinic and the McLean’s Town Dock.
The Prime Minister departed Grand Bahama for New Providence on Thursday afternoon.
By Robyn Adderley
Header: The construction of two new boat ramps, fishing station and removal of conch shells were on the plans shown to Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis on Thursday morning by Garvin Greene of Dewitt Wright Construction.
1st insert: Following the tour of the Government Complex in Eight Mile Rock, Prime Minister Minnis told members of the press that it is a standard building that should be in all of the Family Islands, where all of the government offices are located in one structure.
2nd insert: The newly constructed Holmes Rock Junior High School was one of the stops the Prime Minister made during his tour of capital works projects in Grand Bahama on Thursday.
3rd insert: It is anticipated that newly renovated Rand Memorial Hospital will be ready for official opening in March, said the Prime Minister on Thursday during his tour of capital works projects in Grand Bahama. Leading the hospital tour was Administrator Sharon Williams.
(BIS Photos/Lisa Davis)
The Bahamas Achieves Unprecedented Tourism Success with Record-Breaking Eight Million Visitors
#NASSAU, Bahamas (December 4, 2023) – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is proud to announce a historic achievement in tourism, with the country welcoming a record-breaking eight million annual visitors this year. This remarkable success stands as a testament to the unified efforts, strategic planning, and visionary initiatives championed not only by the Ministry of Tourism but strengthened by the invaluable support of key stakeholders like the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion, The Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board and The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association.
The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism shared his optimism, stating, “The Bahamas has long been a sought-after destination, and reaching eight million visitors is a milestone that reflects the collective dedication of our tourism professionals nationwide. Our success lies not just in our islands’ allure but in the strategic endeavours we have embraced. As we celebrate this achievement, we are equally focused on shaping a future that ensures sustained year-over-year growth and enhances the visitor experience.”
Sales and marketing strategies have been instrumental in positioning The Bahamas as a premier travel destination. The Ministry of Tourism reached global audiences through targeted campaigns utilizing digital marketing, social media, and strategic partnerships. These efforts, combined with creative and impactful advertising initiatives, showcased the diverse attractions and unique experiences that continue to make The Bahamas a must-visit destination.
The government’s commitment to ensuring a seamless and welcoming travel environment has fostered positive relations with industry partners. Innovative cruise strategies, accompanied by increased airlift, have significantly contributed to the surge in visitor numbers. Also collaborations with major cruise lines, the development of new cruise ports, and the introduction of new shore excursions have enhanced the overall travel experience.
Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism, remarked, “This historic milestone in visitor arrivals is a clear indicator of the unique charm and richness of our 16-island destination. Our unwavering dedication to offering diverse, authentic experiences underlines our strategy for Brand Bahamas. We ensure every traveler’s journey is not just a visit, but an unforgettable, enriching experience that beckons a return to our beautiful shores.”
Crucially, the support and collaboration of tourism stakeholders, promotion boards and hotel partners have played a vital role in this success. DPM Cooper underscored the importance of this collaboration, stating, “Our partners have been instrumental in achieving this milestone. Their continued collaboration is key to our sustained success, and together, we will shape the future of Bahamian tourism and the Bahamian economy.”
As The Bahamas celebrates this unprecedented achievement, the Ministry of Tourism looks ahead, developing future strategies to ensure sustained growth in visitor arrivals and a continued positive trajectory for the tourism industry.
Release: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Stunning Space Opened for Turks & Caicos in Nassau
#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The golden ribbon is cut and the Nassau-based Turks & Caicos diaspora office is officially unveiled. The opening ceremony, held at the new office, was attended by high-level delegates including Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
“I’m very proud and very privileged to be able to stand here and speak to you and I would especially like to thank someone who has become a friend in the person of the honorable Prime Minister of The Bahamas,” he said.
Bahamian support was critical in the venture, which sprung up as an answer to the TCIs desperate employment and immigration crisis. With hundreds of vacancies open across the public and private sector, and no one to fill them, the country needed more people but immigration rates were already far too high, posing a risk of disenfranchisement of islanders.
In order to fix both issues the government introduced a migration scheme allowing third-generation islanders with bloodline connections to claim citizenship. They quickly partnered with The Bahamas, one of the closest and the largest parts of its diaspora
Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas was on hand while the Premier spoke and also brought remarks. The strong bond between the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas was emphasized by Davis, as he spoke
“The Turks and Caicos’s islands were part of the Bahamas, they even had a representative in our parliament. We were one nation,” he said.
Bahamian parliament has been supportive of the diaspora plan, which could see TCI-Bahamians migrating away from the Bahamas and into the Turks and Caicos, since its inception in early 2023.
The colors of the Turks and Caicos islands were on proud display in the newly office. Attendees were allowed to tour the building during the Grand Opening on November 28th.
Bright white and modern meeting areas with turquoise accents and TCI logos will be the backdrop for immigration negotiations
Also present at the event, a strong proponent of the grafting in third generation plan, Immigration Minister Arlington Musgrove, and Deputy Governor Anya Williams. The officials have now concretized a journey they started together in February when the idea of a Diaspora office was announced.
The office is the first of its kind established by the Turks and Caicos Islands. It is located on the 2nd Floor of The Bahamas Financial Center, Shirley and Charlotte Streets.
Turks & Caicos Islands Government Opens Diaspora Office in Nassau
#TheBahamas, December 2, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Government earlier this week proudly inaugurated the Turks and Caicos Diaspora Office in Nassau, New Providence in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on Tuesday, November 28th, 2023, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, Premier Hon. Charles Washington Misick and the Deputy Governor of TCI, Her Excellency Anya Williams.
Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams expressed her sincere appreciation to The Bahamas government for the outstanding collaboration between the two countries, particularly in national security. She asserted, “The opening of this office here in The Bahamas will undoubtedly strengthen our ties with The Bahamas and create opportunities for even greater partnerships that will benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Premier Misick emphasized that The Bahamas and TCI have always had a strong bond, and the benefits of this relationship have been felt for many years. He declared, “The establishment of a Diaspora of the Turks and Caicos Islands Office in The Bahamas is a crucial initiative that will restore links with the diaspora and open up a productive line of communication to gauge interest in employment opportunities, investment and contributing to the development of the Turks and Caicos Islands.” He further added: “Whether in national security operations, education (many of our students have studied here), health care, or even cultural enthusiasts who partake in junkanoo, we must continue to learn and lean on each other.
Minister of Immigration and Border Force Hon. Arlington Musgrove, who initially led the establishment of the office, stated: “This evening signifies a significant and timely accomplishment in the long history of our two nations. Progressive relationship building is the term I use to describe the establishment of this office today. Beyond a diaspora office, we hope to foster closer ties through business, investment, education, and training to benefit our two countries. I am proud of my government taking this bold, progressive step and proud of the vision of our Premier, who has worked so assiduously to make this evening a reality.”
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas brought remarks on the evening and joined the other dignitaries for the ribbon cutting.
The office is a part of the government’s broader diaspora policy, which aims to aid in the creation of programs to capture, connect and harness contributions and connection from the TCI citizens residing outside of the TCI, increase the representation of the number of persons in the population with connection and roots in the TCI and lastly, to provide opportunity and incentive for eligible members of the diaspora to invest and have access to investment and philanthropic opportunities in the TCI.
The office is now open at The Bahamas Financial Centre. Two Liaison Officers have been appointed; Canon Curtis Robinson is based in Freeport, Grand Bahama, and A. Vernay Mills is based in Nassau, New Providence.
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