Categorized | National News

Govt Negotiates Partnership for Grand Lucayan

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealed that the government is involved in negotiations with the owners of the assets of the Grand Lucayan hotel and related assets for the joint ownership of those assets in partnership with a number of investors.

“We have identified a number of integrated travel and hospitality companies that can bring quality brands to Grand Bahama, but also much needed air transportation,” Dr. Minnis said yesterday during his first national address.

Following the United States example of measures taken to assist the economy during the 2008 Great Recession, Dr. Minnis explained that it is the government’s intent to resuscitate and grow business to the Grand Lucayan in Grand Bahama as rapidly and as sustainably as possible, and thereafter sell its equity to one of the existing partners or other investors.

“We have no intention of remaining as an owner in the hotel business for any extended period of time. All signs point to the beginning of renovations at the resort within the next month with the facility ready for business for the winter season,” he said.

“Even as I have spoken at some length on the Grand Lucayan, Atlantis and Baha Mar, my government will also address the needs of the more than 250 smaller and licensed properties in Nassau, Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and throughout our Family Islands.  Further, we will introduce further incentives to small hotels where local produce is on the menu.”

The prime minister noted that a very large number of jobs in the tourism sector are not in the hotels.

Many tourism-related jobs are in the supply chain of businesses that serve hotels and visitors such as shops, stores, trucking, delivery and maintenance companies, and accounting firms that benefit heavily from a growing tourism sector, he added.

While discussing plans for the tourism sector, Dr. Minnis also announced that a Native Food Market will be constructed for the benefit of Bahamians and visitors alike.

“This market will provide another linkage between tourism and agriculture,” he said.

In terms of heritage tourism, the prime minister said the Antiquities, Monuments and Museum Corporation will draw up guidelines for the development of public-private partnerships with respect to public historical and heritage sites.

“This will include, after public consultation, the development of fee structures for the sites,” Dr. Minnis explained.

However, he also emphasized that increased airlift to The Bahamas is critical to boosting tourism and it is a critical priority of the Ministry of Tourism.

“The minister of tourism and aviation has already served notice about our desire to make inter-island transportation in The Bahamas far more efficient, far more accessible and, wherever possible, far more affordable,” Dr. Minnis explained.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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