Director General Of Tourism Urges Tourism Sector Improvements
Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu recently urged key local tourism sector stakeholders to strive to improve in the coming year in hopes of remaining on the cutting edge of the ever competitive tourism industry.
Ms. Jibrilu was the keynote speaker at the 62nd Bahamas Hotel Tourism Association (BHTA) Annual General Meeting at Atlantis Paradise Island, where stakeholders gave thorough reports on their relative areas in the country’s number one industry.
During her address, the director general said The Bahamas is seen as a high-end or expensive destination and stressed that customers must be given value for money.
“Satisfaction ratings based on our surveys show that visitors were generally happier with their experiences than they expected to be, while ratings are generally better for the Family Islands than for Nassau/ Paradise Island,” she said.
“Visitors were generally happy with the attitude of the local people and with the beaches and scenery. However, weaknesses are noted in the areas of service, hotel rooms, food in hotels and litter. The overall visitor impression of value for money is a weak point. So while good things are happening, we can see that there is still work to do.”
Ms. Jibrilu said towards this end the Ministry of Tourism has started the year with its Tourism Awareness week, which focused on training for front-line workers in the tourism industry.
She added that the Ministry of Tourism continues training programmes like BahamaHost, but needs the collaboration of the entire tourism industry.
“The tourism industry as a whole needs to work in partnership to beef-up its training efforts, especially to improve service quality, competitiveness and sustainability, if we wish to remain a destination of choice,” Ms. Jibrilu said.
“While the sun, sand and sea are important selling points, discerning travellers want to know and experience more.”
The director general also pointed out that the Ministry of Tourism is working assiduously to improve the Port of Nassau to convince cruise passengers to become stopover visitors.
“In the coming year, we are planning to see improvements made to present a more pleasing face to visitors and fewer negatives like dirt, safety, harassment and crime,” she said.
“The Ministry of Tourism is also finalizing a Cultural Development Strategy that will support this objective, as well as supporting businesses in the creative and cultural sectors and the provision of more places to go and things to see and do.”
This month, 1 million cruise passengers are scheduled to enter the Port of Nassau.
“It is always the hope to convince cruise visitors to return to The Bahamas for a stand alone vacation. However, if we are to have any hope of convincing cruise visitors to return to The Bahamas, there is a great need to improve the impression that the Port of Nassau makes, as well as downtown Nassau,” Ms. Jibrilu said.
“We also need to give cruise visitors more of a taste of the culture, uniqueness, and hospitality of The Bahamas; and, we need to ensure that they are provided with information on the variety of things to do and see in Nassau and throughout the archipelago. We need to do this so that those cruise passengers who have the means to do so will truly consider coming back and spending real time in The Bahamas as stopover visitors, which is so much more valuable to the country.”
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