Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and BPL execs meet over fuel charge increase concerns

Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and BPL execs meet over fuel charge increase concerns
Back Row Left to Right: Mr. Burlington Strachan, Chief Technical Officer, Ms. Toni Seymour, Chief Operating Officer, Nadeen Eugene, Director of Customer Services, Ian Pratt, Chief Administrative Officer, Jamal Glover, Treasurer of the BHTA and General Manager of Bayview Suites, Paradise Island Front Row: Chandrice Ferguson, Chief Financial Officer, Shevonn Cambridge, Chief Executive Officer, Robert “Sandy” Sands, President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Jackson Weech, Senior Vice President of the BHTA and VP and General Manager of Operations for Atlantis, Paradise Island, Vernice Walkine, Vice President of Allied Members on BHTA’s Executive Committee, and President and CEO of The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), Suzanne Pattusch, Executive Vice President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Joy Jibrilu, BHTA Executive Committee (chairperson) and CEO of The Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB), Viana Gardiner, member of BHTA and VP of Public Affairs & Special Projects, Atlantis Paradise Island and Kerry Fountain, BHTA Executive Committee (chairperson) and Executive Director of The Bahamas Out Islands Promotion Board (BOIPB)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) executives met with executives of Bahamas Power & Light (BPL) yesterday to highlight the impact the company’s fuel charge increase will have on tourism stakeholders and also sought to offer recommendations on ways to potentially mitigate the effects of the increase.

In a statement following yesterday’s meeting, the BHTA said: “Ultimately, the group sought to provide recommendations to BPL for ways to potentially mitigate the effect of the increases as businesses, many still in post-covid recovery mode will encounter significant financial challenges if they must face an increase to the second-highest expense item alongside other looming increases to the cost of doing business in The Bahamas in the immediate future.”

During the meeting, BPL executives provided attendees with a comprehensive presentation outlining BPL’s short, mid and long-term plans to address the rising cost of power; and their strategies to address power disruptions in both New Providence and The Family Islands.

The BHTA also sought to understand BPL’s plans to accelerate in a meaningful manner; a move to alternative energy sources; as well as how the industry partners could work collaboratively to eliminate barriers to entry for consumers who want to migrate to self-generating renewable energy options such as solar power.

The BHTA said that it put forth a number of “Industry Asks” for consideration to help mitigate the financial fallout of the heightened fuel surcharge.  CEO Cambridge indicated that BPL would respond once the full BPL board and senior executives had the opportunity to fully review and consider the “Asks” tabled at the meeting.

In addition, BHTA president Robert Sands offered the assistance of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and their industry partners; to act as a conduit of information, when and as required, and to ensure tourism businesses, as substantive consumers of energy in the country, were afforded the opportunity to provide insight, receive feedback and glean an understanding of BPL’s current operational and fiscal realities.

“We look forward to working together to realize the potential for alternative forms of effective, cost-efficient, environmentally friendly power production in the foreseeable future; to achieve the much-anticipated, long-awaited holistic transformation of energy production and supply in The Bahamas,” the statement read.