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Govâ€™t Monitoring AES Lawsuit
Bahamas Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe told the Journal that he was "very concerned" about the allegations.
"What we have to pay attention to, always, is what is being said (and) the circumstances.But we'll look atâ€¦where we are insofar as this company is concerned, and other companies and we'll evaluate what's being said in the Dominican Republic," Mr. Wilchcombe
"And of course," he
added, "allegations are allegations.
...Minister Wilchcombe said he was "very concerned" by the reports, but that there has not as yet been any conversation between Bahamian and Dominican tourism officials.
Despite Minister Wilchcombe's concerns over the sharp drop in tourism to two Dominican provinces, he
said the Bahamas
Ministry of Tourism
has not yet made contact with its Dominican counterpart.
"Our greatest asset is what God has given us, and we are going to do all we possibly can to protect it and that is a mandate from the leader of our country, a mandate from the people of our country, and we are not going to in any way breach that," he
Bahama Pundit: The Impact of Cruise Ships on Small Bahamian Islands
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe seems to have bought into the sales pitch that cruise passengers are on a familiarization trip and that many of them will come back as stopovers.
Maybe some will, and we should encourage that, but Mr. Wilchcombe and Brilanders should not bank on it.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, former Director General of Tourism in the Bahamas and now Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, last December warned us against measuring our success in terms of arrivals.
Minister Wilchcombe in his contribution to the budget debate advised Bahamians to look at tourism expenditure:
Bahamas news - local, financial, business, technology
Mr. Wilchcombe pledged the ministry's support in ensuring a fruitful business. Bahamas
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe
gladly welcomed the $2 million Señor Frog's restaurant owned by a group of Mexican investors.
At the official opening of the popular franchise in Downtown Nassau, Mr. Wilchcombe
pledged the ministry's support in ensuring a fruitful business.
Minister of Tourism Wilchcombe
told the Mexican investors that they seem committed to building a restaurant that provides an opportunity for visitors to have a great time and a one of a kind experience.
"I also take note of the fact that you have a commitment to your staff and that commitment is for them to become a part of this organisation and not just feel that they are here for a job, but also to begin careers," he
said. Mr. Wilchcombe
mentioned that it is also important for the staff of Señor Frog's
to understand that it rests upon them to ensure that patrons walk away wanting to come back.
"You have to now commit yourself to making this successful.
When you do this, you are not only doing it for yourself and this establishment, but for every single soul in The Bahamas
and for your country, so I want to encourage you to give it all that you can and adopt to the philosophy of this organisation," he
Señor Frog's restaurant is conveniently located on Navy Lion Road behind the straw market.
The franchise has locations in Peru, Aruba, Spain, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas
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Casinos Get Green Light
Two major resorts in The Bahamas are now cleared to move on to the next stage of establishing and expanding their casinos after receiving the green light from Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe to proceed with their plans.The applications by Baha Mar Cable Beach Resorts and Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK), which has signed a letter of intent to sublease premises from the Four Seasons Emerald Bay Resort in Exuma, were approved in late December.Earlier in December, the Gaming Board had approved casino licences for both companies, pending final approval from Minister Wilchcombe. Mr. Wilchcombe
noted that PNK
hoped to start its venture by April 2005, but despite the setback investors were still very enthused about the project.PNK
in 2004 signed a letter of intent to sublease premises from Emerald Bay Resort to operate a $5 million, 5,000 square foot casino and was hoping to open for business last year.Meanwhile, Minister Wilchcombe said that Baha Mar is "steadfast" in moving forward in the expansion of the Wyndham Nassau Resort on Cable Beach.
...As for pending casino licences, like the project on Cat Island, Minister Wilchcombe said the government is currently in discussions with the developers.He
said other casino operators are also hoping to do business in the Bahamas.
The Freeport News - West GB gets another boost
Praising the developers for this bold initiative, Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe said that whilst this project is looked at as a progressive step and it is recognized that business is headed in the right direction, "it is important for us to appreciate that over a significant period of time, some Bahamians have been holding this island and this area in particular together."He
added that they have provided opportunities, and without those chances, "we would have really gone under!"Minister Wilchcombe confessed that since the closure of the Jack Tar Hotel, West End has been experiencing difficult times, and "that was evidence enough for us to appreciate that whilst we wish to sometimes do it alone, the reality is the world was built with inter-relationships."
"And so we are here because you had faith and hoped that it could happen," Mr. Wilchcombe
said."And it is about to happen."
As a native of West End, Mr. Wilchcombe
has always been concerned of the fact that there was astronomical growth in Freeport, and the growth of East and West Grand Bahama has not kept pace.
"I said that the development of Freeport has caused the under-development of these areas," he
said."But in retrospect, maybe it had to happen that way, because you had to have something working before you have the confidence for other parts of the island."He
added that the Government is utilizing all of its resources to ensure that developers have the opportunity to branch out in the out-lying areas.
"And I want to congratulate all those partners involved in getting this project off the ground," Mr. Wilchcombe
Noting that opportunities are available not only for foreign investors, but also for Bahamians, he
added, "I believe all of us from this area must begin to look internally.We cannot surrender our opportunities, but we must also put efforts into building these communities."He
stressed that the true reality is that "we must also invest in West Grand Bahama."and take "some of the beauty that we have and turn it into economic opportunities, create jobs for our people and create economic opportunities for ourselves."Minister Wilchcombe said there is no excuse!