The future of the marina industry in The Bahamas is bright according to Steve Kappeler, newly-elected president of the Marina Operators of The Bahamas (MOB), following the organization's second annual general meeting and strategic planning session with public and private sector stakeholders.
The meeting was held in partnership with the Bahamas Hotel Association, and with financial support from the Centre for Development of Enterprise (CDE) which is assisting the MOB in developing a strategic competitiveness development plan for the marina and marine services industry of The Bahamas.
Kappeler expressed his desire to continue to promote the importance of the marina sector in the tourism industry, as well as raise the awareness of its contribution to the overall GDP (gross domestic product) of the economy.
"Three key issues I would like to see us address include the further marketing and promotion of MOB member properties and marinas through collaboration with both the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and promotion boards; advancing collective efforts between government and our members to develop a sustainable environmental plan of standards for our Bahamas marinas in the interest of protecting our clean, clear waters, reefs and fisheries; and strategically positioning The Bahamas as one of the world's top destinations for marinas and marina activities " stated Kappeler.
The growing organization came one step closer to Kappeler's goals at the strategic planning session, where stakeholders outlined a range of issues to focus on over the coming years.
The day’s events centered around workshop sessions in which industry partners dialogued on all aspects of the needs of the marina industry. The information collected will be used in the creation of the Competitive Development Plan for the MOB. Leading the workshop sessions were CDE Consultants Jeffrey Beckles, CEO of EMI Management Consultants; Lloyd Cheong, president of Envirologic International Ltd, and Erik Blommestein of Blommestein & Associates, consultants in tourism, yachting, disaster assessment and environmental valuation.
CDE’s financial resources come mainly from the European Development Fund (EDF). It operates in compliment with the European Commission, the Secretariat of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Investment Bank, in a framework of support to the private sector.
This support reinforces the mandate of the MOB in being the unified voice of the industry. The purpose of the MOB is to represent the needs and interests of its members by facilitating and promoting competitiveness, profitability and the overall sustainable growth of the marina industry in The Bahamas.
The newly-appointed board of directors includes the following members:
President Steven Kappeler, general manager, Cape Eleuthera Resort; Vice president Peter Maury, director of marina operations The Marina at Atlantis Hurricane Hole Marina; secretary ex-officio Frank Comito, executive vice president, the Bahamas Hotel Association; treasurer Preben Olesen, CEO of the Grand Bahama Yacht Club and Port Lucaya Marina; immediate past president John Bethell, CEO of the Abaco Yacht Services, and Hope Town Marina; board member Mike Stafford, yacht broker/captain of Bradford Marine, Grand Bahama; board member Steven Cone of Cave Cay, Exuma; board member Joe Dargavage, general manager of Great Harbour Marina; board member Nathan Moody, owners representative, Old Bahama Bay; board member Troy Cornea, general manager, Harbour View Marina, Abaco; Ministry Of Tourism board representative Earl Miller, director of Vertical Markets, and Royal Bahamas Police Force board representative ACP Clarence Finlayson, Marine Support Services Branch.
The Nassau Guardian