Categorized | National News

Officials Make Tourism Blueprint For Abaco

There’s a blueprint in place to bring more tourists to Abaco and ultimately boost the third island-city’s economy, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

According to the latest figures, Abaco welcomed 52,000 stopover visitors, down from the 82,000 visitors seen in 2011 – a 2.6 per cent drop.

Prior to the onset of the global economic meltdown in 2007, Abaco welcomed 110,000 stopover visitors.

While speaking to a number of business persons at the ninth annual Abaco Business Outlook, Minister Wilchcombe said the budget for tourism marketing is $85 million. Half of that has already been spent towards New Providence and Grand Bahama.

However, he said the rest is expected to be spent on the rest of the Family Islands.

“The way the Ministry of Tourism is approaching our new mandate is that we are looking at The Bahamas differently,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“We’re recognising that every single island has an identity and we intend to ensure that the world knows that every single Family Island can welcome you and have quality offerings from you.”

The minister said tourism officials are introducing a digital platform marketing.

“The digital platform is very important because I believe that we can reach the world easily. The internet for us is the greatest opportunity for us because we can reach the world from The Bahamas. We can be all over the world and you don’t have to worry about the money and spending the type of money that you spent before,” he said.

“We expect to have our entire platform ready for January of next year.”

But that’s not the only thing the government is doing.

Minister Wilchcombe said the ministry is also working on television, radio and print advertisements.

“We are going to do all that is required to get the message out to the entire world,” he said.

According to the minister, Abaco has seen 20 per cent of its visitors from Europe. He said that tells officials that there is more that can be done to lure Europeans to The Bahamas.

“That trend tells me that there’s something special happening here. And that’s how we intend to talk the world in the future. We intend to make sure that every island in The Bahamas is properly marketed and we intend to bring out a sustainable development plan. Sustainable means that it must be an organised approach to development,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“You must environmental protection, built and natural protection and it must also have the understanding that we have the culture of our country to make sure that we are telling the world about this Bahamas,” he said.

“For Abaco, we will highlight the hotels, the offerings that you have, but mostly the uniqueness of the environment. That is what we want to make sure of.”

Kendea Smith

Written by Kendea Smith

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