PM wants to diversify tourism sector

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NASSAU, Bahamas, Nov 13, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis says his administration is moving towards diversifying the tourism industry in the Bahamas in order to realize the “still untapped” potential of the sector.
“Toward this end, we will create a Tourism Development Corporation to help Bahamian entrepreneurs to diversify within tourism.  One of our core objectives must be to help to create greater economic benefits from tourism for micro- small- and medium-sized businesses,” Prime Minister Minnis said at the start of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) weeklong activities being held under the theme “Effectively Transitioning in a Digital Environment: Staying Current on the Global Stage’.
Minnis said “this means greater diversification across various tourism platforms as well as greater linkages with other economic sectors”.
Tourism is a significant contributor to the socio-economic development of this Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country and Prime Minister Minnis said that central to the vision of his government is stimulation of Bahamian ownership and entrepreneurship to create jobs and to reduce poverty.
He said in this regard, the government seeks to transform the Bahamas into a 21st Century economy by creating a technology hub in Grand Bahama and underscored the importance of the relationship between the government and the BICA in the further economic development of the country.
“BICA members represent a significant movement in Bahamian entrepreneurship, moving from a profession that was predominantly represented by expatriates to a profession that is predominantly represented by Bahamians.
“BICA has produced an impressive number of private business executives in the Bahamas, along with leaders in various public entities, including the Office of the Auditor General and the Public Treasury,” he said.
Minnis said that the accounting profession remains a springboard profession, and is very influential in the affairs of the country.
“Given the role that the government of the Bahamas should play as facilitator for economic development, and laying the foundation for opportunities for our citizens, collaboration between the government and BICA is critical,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that a primary objective of his government is the introduction of meaningful and accountable fiscal responsibility, which is evidenced by the recent tabling of Fiscal Responsibility legislation in the Parliament.
He said that in order to ensure accountability, the legislation establishes the Fiscal Responsibility Council, with BICA having representation on this Council.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for BICA to demonstrably influence the fiscal fortunes of the country,” the Prime Minister said, adding that his government continues to welcome the input and counsel of members of BICA on topics such as: economic development, governance, fiscal responsibility and corporate citizenship.

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