David Johnson dies

David Johnson.

The tourism sector mourned the loss of one of its stalwarts Thursday in an official statement after the passing of David L. Johnson a former president of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.

Johnson, who passed away on Tuesday at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), was hailed as “dedicated to the successful development of tourism in Grand Bahama” and “influential in the decision to reposition the destination away from the commercial image of “Freeport” in the international marketplace replacing it with “Grand Bahama Island”.

“Highly regarded in his role as the technical leader of the Grand Bahama Island tourism sector, which at the time comprised 4,000 hotel rooms, he will be remembered for his passion for the economic well-being of the people of Grand Bahama,” the statement read.

“During his tenure in Grand Bahama, Johnson led the industry on matters related to investments and product development, airlift, cruise development, sales and marketing.

“A veteran tourism professional of more than 40 years, he joined the Grand Bahama Island Promotion Board in 1997.  At the time, the Promotion Board and the Grand Bahama Tourist Office came together under his leadership, as the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.  He returned to New Providence and eventually served as Director-General of Tourism from 2007 through 2014. He was designated as CEO of the proposed Tourism Development Corporation, and in 2015 joined the private sector as a consultant to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and the Sunwing Travel Group.

“As along-serving member of the Bahamas Tourist Office, he was posted in Toronto, Canada, Boston and New York, where he served as Director of the Americas. And, from 1992 through 1997 he was the Managing Director of the national flag carrier, Bahamasair.”

He was described as “a sports enthusiast and avid golfer, and a lover of all things Bahamian”.