Ministry of Tourism Organizational Chart
While Governments of The Bahamas over the years have assisted and directed the development of the tourism industry (see History of Tourism in The Bahamas) the Ministry of Tourism currently operates under two major pieces of legislation.
The first, The Hotels Encouragement Act of 1954 encourages the development of hotels throughout the country by means of refund of duties (amended in 1993 to the waiving of duties) and forgiveness of certain taxes.
The second, The Tourism Promotion Act of 1963 established a Department of Tourism within the Ministry of Tourism. Employees of the Department of Tourism, whilst Government employees, are not civil servants or public officers as such and therefore have more freedom than otherwise would be the case.
In 1970, the Hotels Act was passed which required the licensing of and regulation of hotels. A 4% room toll was introduced, payable to the central government (since amended to 6%).
Under the terms of the 1963 Tourism Promotion Act, the Minister of Tourism has the final executive authority for the organization. The Permanent Secretary provides official advice to the Minister and is responsible for the overall administration of the Ministry, essentially financial and personnel matters.
The Director-General is responsible for all “technical” matters pertaining to tourism, and is responsible for providing advice of a technical nature to the Minister, that is advertising matters, public relations, the sales force and onshore product development matters.
The Director-General also has the right of direct access to the Minister but is expected to make submissions either in the presence of, or in the full knowledge of, the Permanent Secretary.
The private sector has also created a number of organisations which promote tourism to The Islands of The Bahamas. These organisations are:-
The Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board, established in 1973, is a voluntary association of hoteliers. As of December 2000, it represents 21 hotels in Nassau/Paradise Island. In 2001 it operated with a budget of $10 million. It is funded by a 3% room toll contributed by the large hotels of 100 rooms or more and by a 4% room toll from those hotels not members of the Paradise Island Tourism Development Authority (PITDA) or the Association of Nassau Resorts (ANR). It is headed by a chairman who serves a two year term.
The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board which is an unofficial amalgam of the private sector funded Grand Bahama Island Promotion Board and the Ministry of Tourism’s staff in Grand Bahama Island. The Tourism Board represents 15 hotels as well as organizations such as UNEXSO dive and dolphin operation and retail stores giving a total membership of 70 organizations.
The Board operates with a budget of approximately $1.2 million derived from a 4% room toll paid by member properties and membership fees and which is supplemented by a contribution for marketing activities from the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism also pays the salaries and related costs of Ministry of Tourism personnel in Grand Bahama Island.
The Board is headed by a chairman. The Ministry of Tourism is represented by the Director-General.
The Out Island Promotion Board, a voluntary association of Out Island hoteliers, represents approximately 72 small hotels throughout the Out Islands. For fiscal 2000/2001 (July-June), it operated with a budget of $800,000. This is also supplemented by contributions from the Ministry of Tourism for marketing activities. It is headed by a chairman. It is funded by a 4% room toll contributed by member properties.
The Paradise Island Tourism Development Authority (PITDA) represents seven (7) hotels on Paradise Island. It is funded by a 3% room toll and operated with a budget of $5 million in fiscal 2001. It is headed by a chairman.
The Association of Nassau Resorts, represents five (5) hotels on Cable Beach, is funded by a 3% room toll and operates with a budget of approximately $2 million per year. It is headed by a chairman.
The Nassau Tourism and Development Board evolved out of the Duty Free Promotion Board and represents more than 110 businesses in downtown Nassau. It is funded by dues contributed by members and operates with an overall budget of $110,000. It is heded by a chairman.