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2004-07-18 14:24:19

Government Pledge To Small Hotel Owners

The event presented small hotel owners, proprietors and other associates with a forum to connect with the hierarchy of both banks, Prime Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

The Small Hotel Operators Seminar/Workshop held in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera last week is being hailed as the answer to the prayers of many struggling Bahamian investors in the hospitality industry.

Organized by the Bahamas Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, the event presented small hotel owners, proprietors and other associates with a forum to connect with the hierarchy of both banks, Prime Minister Perry Christie and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

Perhaps the most profound gesture ever to small businesspersons of the Bahamas was made at the official opening last Monday with the Prime Minister himself leading the way in pledging ongoing support. The Prime Minister bluntly told Ministry of Tourism and Bank officials that with the availability of quality consulting services within those areas, the small hotel owners ought to be getting greater assistance as they seek to make their properties more productive.

Minister Wilchcombe said he is committed to Family Island Development. Michael Halkitus the Parliamentary Representative for the Development Bank frankly stated that more could be done in terns of assisting the small hotels to fully meet their needs.

In general, the opening ceremony set the tone for a well-received and most rewarding seminar, conducted by representatives of the Caribbean Development Bank ( Kenneth Harvey and Rosemary Lucas-Reifer), assisted by Bahamas Development Bank and Tourism personnel.

Ms. Dale McHardy, the manager of the special Business Advisory Services Unit of the Bahamas Development Bank told hoteliers that a 'new' day had dawn and the 'new' focus would be on paying much more attention to clients.

The unit is to assist the entrepreneur with project development, implementation and various growth stages. The unit will assess future developments and provide the clients with options to achieve their goals. All of this is in keeping with the Bank's effort to contribute to the clientele beyond basic funding, but toward business success.'

Indeed overnight the business climate became much more comfortable for those Bahamian investors who took up the challenge of contributing in hard-sell areas of the Bahamas, to the overall development of the tourism product.

Now, we'll all see what the future holds for a certain group of investors who have been overlooked all these many years.

By Fred Sturrup, The Bahamas Journal

 
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