Message from BHTA President, Carlton Russell

Print

We were most pleased to welcome you to one of the largest BHTA Board of Directors & Members Meetings hosted by the BHTA since the inception of our Association. Thank you for your attendance, your interest and support. We have received considerable feedback about the meeting; particularly regarding the speech made by The Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism, Aviation & Bahamas Air.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Minister; Parliamentary Secretary Travis Robinson, Director General Joy Jibrilu, Deputy Director General Ellison “Tommy” Thompson and the cadre of Senior Directors and Directors of Ministry of Tourism for attending the meeting, despite their incredibly busy schedule. We were also pleased to see a vast number of Tourism Industry Millennials, the future generation of Industry Stakeholders, attend the meeting.

The Minister’s Address, which was extremely well received by all accounts, including my own; was indeed a poignant summary of the state of the Tourism Industry in The Bahamas. The Minister provided a crystal-clear, candid, sobering view of our tourism economy and aptly illustrated how our past actions, which spans decades and varying governments, has not been effective; as we have failed to optimize our ability to reap the greatest reward from the singular driving force of our economy; our Tourism Industry.

The message: “Our issues are real, and significant; the stakes are high” was made abundantly clear; and while daunting, seemed to evoke a sense of hope, possibly because, once everyone acknowledges and understands the gravity of a problem, we can begin to collectively work on solutions.

I commend the Minister of Tourism’s candid outreach for widespread collaboration; as this concept underpins the foundation that the BHTA has stood atop for almost 65 years.

The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s very existence; it’s ability to function as “The Voice of Tourism” would not be possible without collaboration; unification, private-public sector partnerships; engagement with various Ministries, our members’ support and enthusiasm, corporate supporters, media partners; regional organizations; industry participants galvanizing to achieve common goals. We are most grateful to be part of a phenomenal array of alliances.

So, on behalf of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association; I ask you to continue to heighten your level of engagement. In keeping with the Ministers candid outreach: I ask you to join us in our efforts to be part of The Change, because Change We Must. The Ministry of Tourism and The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association alone are less of a force than when joined with you, industry stakeholders.

I leave you with these words from The Minister as they reflect my very own view:

"Our success depends on all of us choosing to be active and engaged stakeholders."