D’Aguilar: Tourism sector “carve out” to maintain consistency

D’Aguilar: Tourism sector “carve out” to maintain consistency
Minister of Tourism and Aviation the Hon. Dionisio DAguilar. (BIS Photos/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that while the government may continue to impose restrictions on the domestic economy to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the tourism sector will be ‘carved out’ to ensure that the protocols under which the sector operates remain consistent.

D’Aguilar was speaking to Eyewitness News following Baha Mar’s announcement that it plans to begin a phased reopening on December 17.

“I guess Baha Mar is now comfortable with the process and saw fit to pull the trigger,” he said.

“We have our two major resorts announcing they are returning to service which is great news and is the catalyst to get tourism kick-started again. It is important that we ensure that the tourism sector is afforded a modicum of stability.

“Of all the sectors in our economy, in order for it to thrive, it needs a sense of stability and needs to resume its operations obviously giving consideration to the health protocols.”

D’Aguilar continued: “They have to move forward with the knowledge that while the government may be minded from time to time impose restrictions on the domestic economy, this very critical component of our economy is going to be carved out to ensure that the protocols under which they operate remain the same. We have seen that in other justifications that that is the key.”

“We’re excited that Bahamians are going to get back to work. They along with Atlantis have encountered a testing regime to ensure there isn’t infection from guests to employee or employee to guests, mitigate that as much as possible. I think it’s important to manage expectations.”

He added: “These hotels are going to want to operate very cautiously at the outset and in essence, create a bubble.”

Baha Mar said in a statement yesterday that it will be welcoming guests back to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar on December 17, 2020.

The phased reopening approach will continue with the opening of Rosewood Baha Mar, followed by SLS Baha Mar. The resort said it will reopen with a maximum of 60 percent capacity.

In a statement, Baha Mar president Graeme Davis said: “It is with great excitement that we are welcoming back over 1,500 associates for the first phase of our re-opening and will once again share The Baha Mar Experience with visitors from around the globe.

“Ensuring safety, health and well-being is our number one priority, and we have built upon the natural strengths and intimate experiences of the resort destination to re-introduce signature and new guest offerings.”