New postgraduates on Grand Bahama say they decided to further their education in an effort to help enhance the country's number one industry.
Over the weekend, three Grand Bahamian tourism executives obtained Master of Management degrees in Hospitality and Tourism through Revans University/ IMCA.
Graduates Raylene Gardiner, Shamine Johnson and Carmel Churchill want to focus on the challenges that face tourism in the Bahamas and in particular Grand Bahama, and explore untapped and underdeveloped areas of the industry.
Shamine Johnson, a manager with the Bahamas Hotel Association and Marina Operators of the Bahamas (MOB), also announced that she received confirmation that she and her fellow postgraduates will travel to Trinidad and Tobago in January 2012 to present their collaborative paper, "Tourism, Culture and the Creative Industries: Exploring the Linkages".
A press statement said: "The news was the icing on the cake for the three Grand Bahamian hospitality professionals who submitted an abstract for approval to the scientific committee for the upcoming international conference."
The event is being hosted by the University Of the West Indies in collaboration with the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University in Canada and London Metropolitan University.
It will afford the Grand Bahama contingent an opportunity to showcase the potential for cultural tourism in the Bahamas.
The graduates said they hope to expand the country's main industry and have already conducted research and made suggestions on how to further develop the industry.
According to research conducted by Carmel Churchill, a group sales manager at the Grand Lucayan Resort, 40 per cent of overnight visitors to Grand Bahama come to the island on a cruise.
She said: "By enhancing services and offerings at the resort, an increased demand would be generated for the island of Grand Bahama, thus resulting in increased air travel over the next one to three years and beyond."
Raylene Gardiner, association manager for Old Bahama Bay-West End Resort, said there is a growing trend in the Bahamas of visitors using condo resorts, and enhancement of managerial policies and procedures is needed in order to see further development in this area.
Shamine Johnson said: "The island of Grand Bahama is strategically positioned to be the hub of maritime activity for the region.
"Despite fluctuations in the global economy, the maritime industry's growth is evident in terms of employment, entrepreneurial activity, and tax revenue generation."
Published On: Wednesday, October 12, 2011