Tourism matters heads to Bimini

The Why Tourism Matters workshops launched in the Family Islands last night with an event in Bimini, as organisers expand the initiative beyond New Providence.

The Tourism Development Corporation (TDC), working with the Bimini Chamber of Commerce, Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) and the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Capital Fund, facilitated the first in a series of Town Hall-style discussions.

"We're starting with Bimini on Monday, November 5, and Marsh Harbour, Abaco, on Tuesday, November 13," said Janet Johnson, the TDC's chief executive. "In the New Year, we hope to continue with other islands as we identify the opportunities for linkages and entrepreneurship."

The TDC wants to work with local entrepreneurs and companies to conduct an assessment of each destination, then identify gaps in the tourism product to create viable business opportunities. These will then be presented to Bahamians who wish to take advantage and start businesses that link with the tourism Industry.

"We, along with our corporate partners, will look at existing tours, events, retail services, souvenirs etc and inform about regulations and standards, assist with business plans and direct them to sources of funding. We will share ideas and look at how we can get more people involved in the tourism industry as we continue to build capacity, " Ms Johnson added.

The TDC's mandate is to improve the livelihoods of all Bahamians by encouraging their ownership of, and involvement in, the tourism industry, while improving the visitor experience.