Minister: Bahamas Tourism on strong rebound

The Bahamas will soon be recognized once again as the leading travel destination in the region, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said while officially charging the newly appointed Hotel Licensing Board.

The Board is responsible for the licensing of all hotels in New Providence. Meanwhile, licensing boards are appointed through local government in Grand Bahama and the Family Islands to carry out the same function.

Minister Wilchcombe said The Bahamas has lost ground in tourism to many regional competitors. However, he was confident that new initiatives will return The Bahamas to its traditional standing as tourism leader. He said regional competitors have learned from The Bahamas, making it necessary to change the way the country operates in tourism.

“They have looked at everything we did as a country and they have gone to our playbook and they have used it very effectively,” Minister Wilchcombe said. “So we are adding some new plays, and we are not going to share them right away. So we are going to be a better country. We are going to be a better tourism organization, and we are going to bring more people to our country.”

Minister Wilchcombe said there will be a focus on all islands, rather than on Nassau alone.

“We must remember that we represent The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, not a single island or a single hotel,” he said. “We represent all the hotels of this country and all the people of this country. We must ensure that all the hotels have occupancy levels that are high and all the hotels are doing well. And once they are doing well, that means that people are going to stay employed.”

Minister Wilchcome said he was confident that the Hotel Licensing Board would be given everything needed to carry out its work. He noted that a comprehensive workshop was arranged by the staff of the Ministry of Tourism’s Hotel Licensing Unit, which he said is doing an excellent job.

The workshop will be conducted over a period of four days.

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