Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper applauded Pelican Bay Hotel executives for investing another $4 million in upgrades at their property while expressing confidence that the hotel will benefit from the “tech tourism” market his ministry is seeking to lure to Grand Bahama.
While bringing remarks at the opening of 48 newly renovated suites at hotel on Friday, January 27, 2023, Minister Cooper, who was accompanied by his 11-member executive team, Senator Randy Rolle and Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Ginger Moxey, pointed out the hotel’s confidence in the island’s economy bodes well for the future of tourism.
“An investment of $4 million into your property is not just an investment but it is a signal of hope in the economy and the tourism industry here in Grand Bahama and I want you to know that the executive of the Ministry of Tourism shares that optimism when it comes to the future of tourism in Grand Bahama,” Cooper said.
DPM Cooper noted that his executives had toured the island on Friday and he said the reports he had received were positive and the team had garnered a new perspective of the product on the island of Grand Bahama.
He thanked the Pelican Bay team for their long-standing support of his ministry and the many missions abroad, which they have attended along with Tourism officials, in the promotion of the islands of The Bahamas.
“This is a proud day for Grand Bahama, a proud day for Pelican. You’re raising the bar and I want to thank you for doing just that. We hope that in the very near term the signal that you’ve given here with your new renovations will also happen with some of your neighbours,” Minister Cooper said.
“I’m particularly excited about your extended stage because we are about to launch the island of Grand Bahama as an innovation centre and we hope to be able to attract a lot of techies to Grand Bahama and they might decide to make Grand Bahama their home for a couple months at a time to enjoy the special island that we have.”
Deputy Prime Minister Cooper said his ministry hopes to begin that process this week when they visit Canada to talk about “tech tourism” and he said he hopes Pelican Bay Hotel will be the beneficiary of many of those extended stays.
Referring to the unofficial new tourism numbers for The Bahamas, he said the statistics revealed that arrivals across the country in 2022 reached 7.01 million tourists.
Putting those figures into perspective, Minister Cooper noted that in 2019, which proved to be a record-setting year, The Bahamas saw 7.2 million arrivals.
While extending well wishes to Pelican Bay executives on their revamped staterooms, 24 of which will be extended stays, the minister thanked them for building back better and demonstrating with their checkbook that they are optimistic about the future.
“This rebuild and this refresh is going to be good for tourism on the island of Grand Bahama. So, on behalf of the government, on behalf of the people of The Bahamas, the minister for Grand Bahama, we extend gratitude for the investment, gratitude for betting on Grand Bahama and for the confidence you display in the future of tourism and the future of Grand Bahama,” Minister Cooper said.
Pelican Bay General Manager Magnus Alnebeck pointed out that the 182-room hotel remained open through Hurricanes Matthew and Dorian, as well as COVID-19 and he noted that the renovation work on the 48 suites were carried out by local contractors.
“They are open. There are people sleeping in them tonight. We have most of them occupied.
Pelican Bay has renovated 75 percent of its rooms over the last five years, having carried out a similar renovation after Hurricane Matthew, six years ago.
Following the brief ceremony, Ministers Cooper and Moxey and a delegation were given a tour of the renovated suites by Pelican Bay executives.
By LEDEDRA MARCHE/Bahamas Information Services
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