The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism are working with public and private sector partners to develop and propose a “Bahamas Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan for Re-entry into the Tourism Market”, the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) revealed in a press statement yesterday.
According to the statement, the purpose of the plan is to provide a road map for the government and tourism stakeholders to use as a guide to ready themselves for the imminent reopening of the internal and external borders to local and international travel; and to re-enter the tourism market in a strategic manner which considers health and safety pivotal to the sustained restoration of the Bahamian tourism economy.
Engaged stakeholders include the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB), Paradise Island Tourism Development Association (PITDA), Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board (BOIPB), Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB), Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), Nassau Cruise Port, Association of Bahamas Marinas, Hutchison Ports Bahamas (Grand Bahama Airport Co., Freeport Harbour Co. and Freeport Container Port) and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“This initiative has seen the engagement of a wide cross-section of stakeholders, which is integral to the composition of a comprehensive plan which will incorporate feedback, acumen and insight gleaned from owners, operators, employees and government representatives from various businesses directly or indirectly linked to the tourism economy,” the statement noted.
“Sectors represented include airlines (commercial/private), points of entry (airports, fixed-base operators, cruise ports, marinas) and tourism touch points within the destination: taxi, tour operators, hotels (small, mid-sized, large) the vacation home rentals sector (Airbnb),retailers, straw markets, land and sea-based attractions, to name a few.”
The BHTA stated that the plan aims to provide demand markets, travel industry partners, airlines, tour operators, on-sellers, internal tourism stakeholders, owners and operators and employees with the confidence and understanding that The Bahamas is deploying an approved and comprehensive strategy.
The body contends that that strategy aligns with the regional and local standards and best practices that have been set for the reopening of this destination.
“Being visible, being accessible, opening our economy in a safe and healthy manner is key to our ability to recover economically as a tourism destination,” President of The BHTA Carlton Russell said.
The BHTA added that the deployment of a tourism re-entry plan will allow tourism businesses to deploy approved health and safety standards to keep employees and guests safe; and provides target markets with a level of comfort.
“The plan is comprised of reports from many subcommittees from the broad range of tourism sector groups and is close to completion,” the statement noted.
“It will be given to the government for it to provide support to public and private sector businesses, as the country looks toward reopening this critical economic sector. The BHTA and the Ministry of Tourism would like to thank the core committee members, group leaders and sub-committee members, which are comprised of in excess of 100 public and private sector tourism stakeholders, for their contribution to this important body of work. The level of engagement and intensity of interest aptly showcases our ability to band together to get The Bahamas back to the business of tourism, in a healthy, safe and sustainable manner.”