NASSAU, The Bahamas – Tourism is so competitive in today’s world that even the most powerful countries are “putting the might of their power” behind attracting more visitors to their shores, Director-General at The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu said Wednesday (October 17, 2018).
“In this new order, safety cannot be touted as a benefit to visiting any destination. It is a basic human right. People are entitled to feel safe while running along our beautiful coastline, or dancing to their favorite song. No visitor should have to question whether or not they can trust a jet-ski operator to take them for a ride, or walk in our city centre without the fear of being victimized,” Mrs. Jibrilu added.
Addressing a Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation Visitor Safety and Security Workshop held at the British Colonial Hilton, Mrs. Jibrilu said crime, and more importantly, the perception of crime, is an attack on the tourism industry — the country’s number one industry, and the cornerstone of the Bahamian economy.
Hosted by The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, the workshop was held under the theme: Tourism Safety and Security: Enhancing Safety and Security Strategies For Our Number One Industry. The workshop was designed to elaborate on strategies to bring about greater safety and security for visitors to the country’s shores and attracted participants from the various tourism industry stakeholders and the country’s law enforcement agencies.
Director-General Jibrilu said while it is recognized that crime is “everywhere in the world,” small-island populations that are heavily dependent upon tourism such as The Bahamas, must be ever conscious of the fact that “we are competing in a world that is increasingly recognizing the value of tourism as a contributor to economic growth and success.”
Mrs. Jibrilu told industry partners and law enforcement officials that officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation were “ready to stand by them” in the fight against crime.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are not alone in your fight against crime as it is, and should be, a community effort. Our logo that ‘tourism is everyone’s business’ means that we at the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation are ready to stand with you. We will continue to open the lines of communication to promote safety and manage impacts as they come.”
Director-General Jibrilu said the workshop, facilitated by the Ministry’s Visitor Safety and Security Department (headed by Mr. Vincent Harris), was a step in that direction.
“In this workshop, it is hoped that we can put forward and elaborate valid concepts that can enhance our fight against crime and therefore secure our hospitality industry for many years to come,” Mrs. Jibrilu said.
“It is meetings such as this where there is a ‘meeting of the minds’ and a collective will to do the right thing that we will achieve the best results and outcomes. Let us see how we can lead the way in the region as being a safe, world-class destination where people’s dream of a ‘dream location’ is matched by the reality they meet on the ground.
“It is my hope that this forum would present the perfect opportunity to lead to breakthroughs and ideas on how to enhance safety, not only in our tourism sector but throughout our nation thereby achieving the common loftier goal of making it truly better in The Bahamas,” Mrs. Jibrilu added.
By Matt Maura