By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, May 27, 2022 – The Bahamas Government opened up recently about spending for the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; the Royal visit in March costing the Commonwealth country in excess of $636,000 for ceremonial events and stay for William and Kate.
A preliminary financial statement has it that a bulk of the expense was paid in New Providence. According to the breakdown, $566,828.93 was paid out to New Providence businesses and vendors; $50,063.92 to Abaco vendors; and $18,107.15 to Grand Bahama vendors.
At least $76,141 went to ‘Wild Flowers’ for décor for the Royal Ball, school visit, and One Montague. For accommodation and meals, $34,657 was spent. Another $66,440 went to ‘Movi Company’ which provided large jumbo screens and digital and electronic work. Bahama Prints was paid $34,806 for welcome billboards and mesh. The New Providence Junkanoo Corporation was extended $21,000 for the Junkanoo event.
The Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas was paid $29,480 was paid for its broadcasting services, Bahamasair received $37,247 for air charter services, $12,000 went to ‘Janees’ Uniform Shop’ for uniforms for sloop sailors and payment to participants in the regatta event. Smaller vendors also accounted for some of the payments. Data shows that over 100 individuals and businesses were processed for payments.
Local Organizing Committee said it realized “significant assistance” by not having to engage or issue contracts for government buildings upgrades and improvements as the Ministry of Works was “very active and responsive in this area”. In addition, the Department of Environment cleaned main street arteries to ensure a spotless presentation.
Office of the Prime Minister press secretary, Clint Watson explained that the media spotlight and promotions for The Bahamas was immeasurable, reminding that The Bahamas was a chosen destination by the Royals, that The Bahamas has obligations as a member of the Commonwealth and that the UK always stands ready in support in times of crises.
According to the committee, at least $100,000 was saved because of the assistance provided by corporate Bahamas. The committee added that there will not be much need for infrastructural improvement and upgrades in preparation for Bahamas’ annual Independence Celebrations.
“It is difficult to quantify the tremendous benefits of the Royal Visit to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Over forty international media houses from the UK and international graced our shores and recorded the wonders of The Bahamas and the beauty, charm, and warmth of our people,” said the LOC. It made note that the overarching goal was met through the various activities within education, sports, culinary delights, and meaningful interactions with the Bahamians.
The LOC expressed that a dollar value cannot be placed on the advantages of the recent visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; it said that Bahamians proved that they have made it common knowledge that they entertain Royalty with both class and pride.
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN
Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence. All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.
(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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