Categorized | National News

MOT Not Moving From Downtown

Although a new building was built for the Ministry of Tourism on John F. Kennedy Drive, officials plan to remain on Bay Street.

A multi-million dollar facility adjacent to the Ministry of Public Works was built and completed last year.

The Ingraham administration said it was first built to house the Bahamas Mortgage Corporation (BMC) but then said it would be used by the Ministry of Tourism.

But, in an exclusive interview with the Bahama Journal, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said he didn’t believe the ministry needed to move to such a building.

“The point is that Ministry of Tourism purchased this building [on George Street] and we purchased it at a cost of about $8 million. This building has all that we require,” he said.

“The truth is that it is downtown, so it is strategically located. We want to be in the downtown area because of all that goes on around here, particularly in the cruise ports.”

Instead of moving, the minister said the government will make some renovations to it.

“That’s being negotiated right now and I believe that over the next six to seven months we are going to have the facility that we need,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“We are going to continue on our plan to refurbish this building. It’s a wonderful asset and at the end of the day once it is refurbished it will have a value and if The Bahamas government wants to sell it, it can. But it’s a wonderful location for us and the refurbishment should begin very soon.”

In addition, the ministry is also looking to add some features to Bay Street.

“We want to develop a tourism museum because this is a place that tourists frequent. We want to make sure that tourists have access to us at all times and it is easy to do because of the cruise area,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

The original Ministry of Tourism building was destroyed back on September 4, 2001 along with the original Straw Market.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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