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Exuma Business Outlook to emphasize sustainability

Minister to address how to retain more tourism revenue

Published: Oct 16, 2013

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Sustainability will take center stage at the eighth annual Exuma Business Outlook (EBO) later this month, with a focus on finding a durable economic model for the islands.

Exploring the theme “Sustainable Development for Exuma: Finding the Right Mix of People and Strategies”, the 8th Annual Exuma Business Outlook is scheduled to take place on October 23.  As in past years, the one-day symposium will be held at Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Georgetown.

V. Alfred Gray, minister of agriculture and marine resources, has committed to presenting the keynote address and is expected to focus on the importance of increasing local food production as a necessary adjunct to tourism development and retaining more of the income from tourism, which is the primary revenue source for the Exumas and The Bahamas as a whole.

Joan Albury, president of TCL Group and organizer of the multi-island Business Outlook series, highlighted the importance of the minister’s participation to meeting the objectives of this year’s forum.

“The minister’s presentation will be central to our achieving the goals we have set for the 2013 Exuma Business Outlook.  We are putting the spotlight on the sustainability of economic development not only in the Exumas, but also throughout our chain of islands.  In this regard, we are pleased also to have secured the participation of David Johnson, director general of tourism and Jeremy Mutton, general manager, Sandals at Emerald Bay, which is Exuma’s anchor in hospitality.  There can be little doubt that tourism is the mainstay of Exuma’s economy,” Albury said.

Albury noted that Pedro Rolle, president, Exuma Chamber of Commerce and vice president/manager, SeaSide Real Estate Limited, will again present the Exuma update and vision and Shaun Ingraham, founder, Island Journeys will speak at the luncheon.

Also bringing expertise to the forum are Manuel Messina, representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in the Bahamas; Teddy Clarke, representative, Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources; Hubert Edwards, deputy general manager, Bank of The Bahamas International, and Eleanor Phillips, director, The Nature Conservancy.

One of the highlights of EBO 2013 will be a panel of Exuma business owners representing a range of enterprises important to the island’s economy.  They include Kenneth Bowe, Lerice Dames and Rosemary Bowe.

Moderators for the day are Sarah Swainson and Sherice Gardiner-Jones for the first and second sessions, respectively.  “The program we have put together this year represents our drive to promote the other essentials of sustainability as well—the people element and the incorporation of those factors that will give Exuma its unique identity internationally,” Joan Albury noted.

“We have to keep lobbying for a well-trained, efficient and hospitable workforce, a resident fund of world-class skills, the revival of Exuma’s agricultural base and the sustainable exploitation of that island’s rich historical heritage.  We congratulate Exuma’s focus on highlighting heritage by creating a festival for that purpose.  These are the things that will build a sound and sustainable economy for the Exumas.  This is the core of our program for the eighth Exuma Business Outlook.”

Albury emphasized the general importance of the event.

“As I have said again and again, our country is in great need of a new paradigm for development, one that can go the distance with us.  The six Business Outlook forums exist for generating the necessary national conversations on this vital subject. As always, we are grateful for the cooperation of the island business sector and most especially the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Tourism for their partnership and cooperation,” Albury said.


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