The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) have launched a ‘Tourism Jobs for Bahamians’ initiative to secure temporary employment in the hospitality industry.
CHTA’s Caribbean Tourism Job Bank will seek out positions within The Bahamas and the Caribbean, the United States and Canada for Bahamians whose islands and jobs were devastated by Hurricane Dorian.
Several hotels within The Bahamas have already been identified.
“Among the early responders to the CHTA appeal are unaffected Bahamas hotels such as Sandals Resorts, which has three Bahamian properties; the newly opened Baha Mar resort complex, Atlantis, Paradise Island, along with hotels in the islands of Eleuthera, Exuma, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island and Long Island,” noted a CHTA statement on the matter.
“CHTA is also reaching out to prospective employers through the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association.”
CHTA President Patricia Affonso-Dass explained in the statement that Bahamian tourism professionals would be an asset to hotel and the tourism businesses wherever they are placed.
“Even short-term seasonal positions would allow these Bahamian professionals not only to enhance other destinations, but also to expand their own skills and experience,” Affonso-Dass said.
The CHTA urged employers to use its job bank to post openings “for the full range of hotel and tourism functions”.
The association has found that Hurricane Dorian affected 2,500 hospitality professionals who, by extension, were supporting about 10,000 people across the affected islands.
The CHTA stated that it has waived the cost to post listings on its job-finding site for non-members for the duration of the projects.
“The CHTA hopes that humanitarian and economic considerations will allow for a temporary waiver of visa restrictions, particularly in South Florida, where hotel employers report difficulties in filling many positions, given the low unemployment rate and where many affected Bahamians have extended friends and family who can provide added support, like housing, to help tide over the period before they return to The Bahamas,” the statement pointed out.