Three economic gaps

To the editor,

The Bahamas’ economy is supported by tourism and financial services. But according to the central bank, tourism accounts for two-thirds of GDP, more than three times the contribution of financial services.

Simply put, the Bahamas’ main business is tourism. Therefore, the main focus of local economic planners will be to maximize the benefits of tourism.

Sadly, this hasn’t been the focus of legislators or the business community for decades. As a result, market performance has declined, especially when the Bahamas fell from the regional leaders to at least the fourth (lowest in the North Caribbean) over the last three decades.

This dramatic dip cannot be explained by reference to hurricanes and other environmental disasters, recessions and the occurrence of global conflicts. All of this has also been experienced by neighboring countries (competitions).

But that can be explained by the existence of three factors in our socio-political composition.

The first is the lack of vision for the country’s major businesses.

The second is the permanence of political culture, which guarantees commitment to outdated or flawed concepts in the guise of “ideas” rather than the result of true intellectual inquiry and philosophical commitment.

Third, the basic business model of tourist resort management is not understood.

The vision gap, as I say, has two roots. The first is the unfortunate attitude of independent politicians that tourism is about the operation of resorts.

Their hatred for the individual Stafford Sands, and what they thought he expressed, was to call the model the Stafford Sands model and seek their own advice rather than studying existing successful businesses. I urged them.

They didn’t really understand the Stafford Sands model. This new approach continues to this day, with the government kowtowing on the hopes and influences of resort and cruise ship operators.

Over the last 50 years, the Bahamas has spent hundreds of millions (possibly billions of dollars) on marketing and promoting resorts, subsidizing or purchasing failed projects, and assisting cruise operators in leasing facilities and prime locations. However, there is no visible benefit. employment.

We have become experts activity Sightseeing seems unaware that there is work Of sightseeing. As a result, under this flawed resort-based (and cruise industry-based) vision, our tourism business has completely disappeared.

The second route in the vision gap is age. Recently I was surprised. Today’s 50-year-old child does not have the concept of a successful tourism environment in the Bahamas born during the funeral of that era.

For example, New Providence was dotted with successful nightclubs 10 years before it was born. Some of them are legendary, all owned and operated, including cats and fiddles, silver slippers, Zanzibar, conch shells, and jungle clubs. Locally, mostly by black Bahamans.

The same is true for attractions such as the Nassau Undersea Aquarium, Aldastra Gardens, the Sound and Light Show (Sound and Light Show), the Wax Museum at Fort Charlotte, the Balmain Museum and the Bahamia Museum.

Successful Over-the-Hill restaurants such as Three Queens, Reef and Shoal flourished.

Bay Street was lined with nightclubs, show clubs, restaurants (both Bahamian and International), and shops selling both local luxury products (Chelsea pottery pottery) and European merchandise.

By 1980, this was all gone. Today’s 50 years old was 8 years old.

For people under the age of 50, tourism reports are about occupancy, not the development of local wealth. For them, promoting tourism is to subsidize airlines and resorts and buy ads to promote our beautiful environment. It’s not about running a business for the benefit of the local business community.

Even more worrisome is that all parliaments and cabinets are under the age of 60, with the exception of four or five members.

Intellectual gaps are the result of leaders encouraging the avoidance of the views and opinions of people unrelated to political positions. Those who do not repeat the opinions of my group need to be silent or humiliated.

As a result, it is virtually impossible to enter into a conversation that can change your position.

Therefore, by definition there is no conversation about “non-real world” concepts or theories.

As a result, cruise lines and travel organizations all say they lack enough products to serve as destinations, but ignore the needs of business models for tourist operations and advertise and promote. Prefer to respond by spending more money on destinations.

Without our own customers, building attractions is useless. Like the 1970s, they will simply die again.

Our problems cannot be solved without serious intellectual debate in an environment where real change is expected and welcomed.

Model gaps are gaps caused by intellectual gaps. This is the gap between the expected business model and the theoretical business model.

The theoretical business model of the tourism business defines a customer as a visitor seeking a location-specific experience, a product as a location-specific experience that tells a unique story of a destination, and a POS as an attraction.

He explains that the infrastructure needed for success is accommodation, transportation and a culture of hospitality.

The models currently in use define customers as resort or cruise ship customers, products as the sun, sand, sea, “people” personality, and POS as resort or cruise ships.

Infrastructure is defined as a facility for the transportation and physical and financial support of cruise ships and resorts.

This is a big gap, and its correction requires a big paradigm shift and big policy changes. It also requires a much more focused strategy.

This current model has resulted in a complete reliance on resort operators and residual income from cruise lines, an unsustainable economic situation.

Cruise line customers bring us $ 84. Our own customers at the hotel bring us $ 1,300. The Dominican Republic has quadrupled the number of stopover visitors since 1991 in Cuba. The rate of increase is less than 0.25%.

Three gaps, each easily filled. If you can deal with it right away, imagine the possibility.

— — Patrick Ramming Three economic gaps

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