Source: Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas welcomed delegates to the 10th Edition of the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) and touted its new opportunities for investment. At a Welcome Reception at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper delivered opening remarks, November 10, 2021. He introduced delegates to Bahamas Invest, the newly minted Government agency commissioned to make outreach to international investors, to navigate them through the journey of investing, from identifying the most suitable investments projects to launching start ups.
“In The Bahamas, the tourism and hospitality sector is by far the biggest arena of investment opportunities, from boutique resorts and fishing lodges to mid-sized three to five star hotels, AirBnBs, second homes, marinas, attractions, the gamut of water-based activities, restaurants and immersive experiences promoting cultural and heritage tourism.
“Our government is investor friendly, investor focused, and is committed to bringing about greater ease of doing business in our jurisdiction,” the minister said.
He acknowledged how proud The Bahamas was to be affiliated with CHICOS having hosted it three times: the inaugural summit in 2011, again in 2012, and this year, 2021. CHICOS 2021 is regarded as a grand showcase of investment opportunities that abound across the region. Representatives from tourism related enterprises of a dozen Caribbean countries gathered to unveil to investors, promising development projects and lucrative potential areas of investment that exist in their respective destinations.
“This conference, taking place specifically at this time, is of great significance to our destination. As we undertake recovery in the wake of
the impact that the (COVID-19) pandemic inflicted on our economy, the groups and conference business, with its higher yield, is very instrumental in helping us re-ignite the engine of our economy,” said the deputy prime minister.
“We are very pleased to count CHICOS among the first group events to come to our destination after the reopening of our tourism industry,” he added.
According to statistics, the pandemic has resulted in great losses to the Caribbean region; an estimated $33.9 billion in lost revenue to the travel and tourism sectors. This translates to one fourth of all jobs lost in the sector.
“That is why this conference is so timely. It brings us together, under one roof, to talk through the issues that face our industry, to map out solutions, to network, to showcase to investors the great business opportunities that have become available in our respective destinations,” the minister said.
Also, “Here, at CHICOS, we are all in the right place, at an opportune time, to secure what we need for tourism business recovery and to locate that special gem of investment opportunity.”
CHICOS 2021, November 10-12, was officially opened by Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis. Also present were Minister of Economic Affairs Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis; John Pinder, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Investment & Aviation; Joy Jibrilu, Director General, Tourism; Senator Randy Rolle; and other senior government officials; CHICOS Chairman Parris Jordan and other board members; delegates and various tourism and investment stakeholders. Delegates were feted to an explosive Junkanoo Rushout and tastes of local cuisine.