BHTA Sets 2017 Goals


The president of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Carlton Russell, recently met with a cadre of tourism professionals who comprise the BHTA’s executive committee at a strategic planning retreat to embrace the opportunities that face the industry and set goals for 2017.

The organization continues to expand its mandate to facilitate the profitability, quality and sustainability of tourism for The Bahamas.

With focus on the importance of members and member benefits, the BHTA in 2017 will continue to build and forge new collaborative partnerships and alliances in the public and private sectors to best represent the tourism industry on issues such as National Health Insurance and universal healthcare; proposed amendments to important legislation such as the Employment Act; the National Development Plan and the vacation home rental business in The Bahamas.

As the association welcomes the opening of Baha Mar, the BHTA will strengthen and broaden training, customer service, succession planning and workforce development programs, working with key industry partners, such as the University of The Bahamas; with the view of developing a National Service Awareness Program. Also, the BHTA will leverage industry acumen and share successful programs deployed in the existing market with other member hotels throughout The Bahamas.

By way of example, Sandals, Emerald Bay in Exuma, has taken the initiative dubbed the “Sandals Emerald Bay Weekend Work Program” which allows grade 12 students from the local high school to work at the resort on weekends and school holidays. This allows graduating students to garner “real life” work experience while earning a stipend. The program provides invaluable exposure to the work environment which will help guide the student’s decision making as they prepare to enter the workforce.

Russell stated: “BHTA recognizes the value of community, and through fellowship and partnership we help each other. We have always said ‘it takes a village’ and the BHTA serves as a liaison between members, industry partners in both the public and private sector for the betterment of the industry we are all so reliant on.”

The BHTA will also continue its work to expand the economic benefit of the tourism dollar through initiatives such as “The Tru Tru Bahamian Movement” which speaks to Bahamian culture, customs and heritage unique and indigenous to the destination. The initiative includes The Tru Tru Bahamian Festival, which showcases Bahamian art, dance, music, craft, food and drink. The festival will be held at the John Watling’s Distillery on Saturday, February 11, 2017.

The Nassau Guardian
January 25, 2017