BHA Preparing For Latin American Market


The Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) are taking an active approach in preparing for the Latin American business coming into the country, offering a workshop geared towards fully tapping into that market.

It's potentially the first of many seminars given the diverse markets that flock the country.

Executive Vice President of the BHA Frank Comito told Guardian Business last week that the workshop is designed to ensure that Bahamians in the sector are able to fully capitalize on the Latin American market, thus making raising awareness a priority.

"The Ministry of Tourism, the BHA and the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board are undertaking a number of readiness activities so we are prepared to take advantages of opportunities that exist in the Latin American market," Comito said. "The success the ministry had in securing Copa Airlines in June and promoting our tourism-related business prompted us to undertake a number of readiness activities."

The workshop is scheduled for March 9 at the British Colonial Hilton under the theme "Preparing to Better Service the Latin American Market".  It will focus on how to better understand the market and its potential, initiatives in place to prepare for the growth and resources available for individuals in the sector.  

While an active approach is being taken in the tourism sector to attract business from Latin America, other industries could be well on their way to doing the same, with an international human resources professional saying the country's major sectors are a "melting pot."

Anne Smith told Guardian Business last week that a shift can be seen from employers in the way they hire, who may be looking for more diverse candidates that can quickly adapt to the changing market.

"As The Bahamas becomes a more diverse country in the working realm, employers will start to examine the competencies of candidates and being bi-lingual and having experience in different markets will be viewed as an asset," Smith said. "Having a versatile skill set will be valuable in today's Bahamas and being knowledgeable of different countries and cultures will be vital."

Along with the launch of Copa Airlines opening up the Latin American market, other diversity gateways are being opened. The biggest one to date is the $3.6 billion Baha Mar project, which intends to bring 8,000 Chinese workers and attract additional foreign markets.

"If you look at individuals from other countries coming here, they already have an advantage because they speak two languages and are familiar with our market," she said.  "We must prepare ourselves for this and it must start in the educational system, by ensuring students are exposed to some level of diversity.  The Bahamas is now a melting pot."

The Nassau Guardian