Bill tabled to codify TDC, establish tourism development fund

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper yesterday tabled the Tourism Development Corporation of The Bahamas Bill, 2023 which among other things, seeks to establish a tourism development fund.

The bill codifies the Tourism Development Corporation to be the primary entity concerned with resilient and sustainable tourism development in The Bahamas. Its board would control the fund.

The fund would receive monies from parliamentary allocations, fees, monies charged on tourism activities and services in respect to the act, income from investments of the corporation, grants, donations, bequests or gifts, and contributions from certain tourism-related enterprises.

“Clauses 11 and 12 seek to provide for a register of tourism-related enterprises listed in the third schedule, and for the registration of every tourism-related enterprise with the corporation. Clauses 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 of the bill seek to provide for the corporation to grant its seal of approval to registered tourism-related enterprises, where it is satisfied that the owner is a fit and proper person and the enterprise meets the guidelines imposed by the corporation, for the display and withdrawal of the seal of approval and for the right for persons aggrieved by the decision of the corporation to appeal,” the bill notes.

“Clauses 18 and 19 of the bill seek to provide that the corporation may, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, issue guidelines for standards and best practices with respect to tourism-related enterprises and products to protect the integrity of The Bahamas as a tourism destination, and that the corporation may provide for and issue certification as it deems applicable and may review tourism-related enterprises to ensure adherence to certification requirements.

“Clause 20 of the bill seeks to allow for the corporation to provide special support to approved tourism-related entrepreneurs for growth, including for startups and early-stage, tourism-related businesses in the form of physical space, coaching, and networking connections.”

Some of the functions of the corporation outlined in the bill include, identifying, creating and promoting investment opportunities for Bahamians in the tourism industry; improving the ease of doing business in the tourism industry; allowing a platform for aspiring Bahamian tourism entrepreneurs and craftsmen whose businesses can add value to the tourism experience in The Bahamas; and promoting and facilitating tourism investment incentives, concessions and related support for Bahamian investors and entrepreneurs in tourism-related enterprises.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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