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 Bahamas Commentary

2003-07-04 05:51:16

Put the Money to Work

According to Vernice Walkine, deputy director at the Ministry of Tourism, Minister Obie Wilchcombe is "furious" at the amount of money spent on advertising instead of on improving the product.

But, at the same time, she said the ministry hopes a new advertising agency hired this year as part of the latest $15-million campaign will provide "more truthful" ads and give travellers a reason to visit The Bahamas.

Is there a failure to communicate going on somewhere?

One can hardly fault the ministry for firing up a new campaign and signing a new company to promote the country but then, instead of Mr. Wilchcombe continually complaining about the condition of downtown Nassau and talking about revitalising it, the ministry should get on with the revitalisation process. The government budget has been approved. Less talk, more action.

As it stands now, the country spends millions on promotion, but tourists are still leaving with the same old complaints about the attitude of the Bahamian people (a whole other story) and the appearance of the downtown area.

Let's not underestimate the power of the spoken word. When dissatisfied tourists return home, they pass on their experiences to friends and family, negating the funds spent to advertise the country. That way we lose repeat and new business.

Enough whining and procrastination. Let's move on to finally cleaning up downtown and the other neglected areas of the island. Come on Mr. Wilchcombe. Put that "fury" to work.

Editorial, The Nassau Guardian  

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