Hotel delays “not good optics”

Hotel delays “not good optics”
Gowon Bowe (file photo)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A well-known banker said yesterday it was certainly “not good optics” for the country’s two largest resort properties to depart from the government’s plans to have hotels across the country reopen on October 15.

Gowon Bowe, CEO of the Fidelity Group told Eyewitness News said the consensus among among the country’s major stakeholders was key as the government attempts to once again jump start the tourism sector.

On Monday, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said his ministry had recommended that hotels across the country resume full operations, including use of beaches, on October 15.

The Ministry of Tourism also its ‘vacation in place’ (VIP) tourism initiative which seeks to flip the mandatory quarantine period into a luxury experience.

Following that announcement, however, Atlantis said it continues to evaluate its reopening timeline and that it will soon announce a specific reopening date.

Yesterday, Baha Mar announced it had decided to delay its reopening further due to the current state of COVID-19 cases in The Bahamas and key markets in the United States. Employees were advised that they would be paid 30 percent of base compensation as an ex gratia payment for up to an additional 90 days, in addition to any payments being offered by the government.

In a statement to employees, Graeme Davis the resort’s president said that while the goal was to reopen in October, that goal is not achievable under the current circumstances.

Bowe said: “The concern would be what has been the discussion between the government and the principal players with these plans. With the Minister announcing an October 15 date and then what appears to be a need by the major resorts to almost distance themselves from that date as a commitment raises concerns that we are not doing this in a collective matter.”

“There are times when you will be bold in a pronouncement to bring about the result that you wish but there are times when you must be very clear with all parties on your intentions and capabilities before making those statements. I think the ministry appears to be somewhat insular looking at an ideal scenario but this is something that is going to require the agreement of the major players.”

Bowe added: “My view is it is certainly not good for optics to have what is perceived as not yet achieved alignment among all of the major stakeholders. It is wonderful to have ambitious targets but in our recovery plan has to be holistic and for the most part have consensus.”

6 comments

14day quarantine is not good optics. The few remaining reservations for Oct/Nov are being cancelled and the guests do not plan to rebook until quaratine requirements are removed. They will go elsewhere

The fourteen day quarantine makes no sense because tourist come in every day on their boats or private charter only needing a negative Covid19 test.

The two properties are not going to open as long as the government has the 14 day mandatory quarantine in place. The notion that anyone would pay to be a prisoner in a overpriced resort is a dream. This government is absolutely delusional if it thinks that will happen. That is the reason Mexico and the Dominican Republic will corner the tourism market.

Paying thousands of dollars to travel to the Bahamas just to quarantine for 14 days makes absolutely no sense. I believe this restriction may have been one of the contributing factors why the two major hotels on the island have decided to postpone their reopening dates. Who is going to travel to an island and can’t leave their hotel property? You already have to provide proof that you don’t have the coronavirus so why have to quarenten at the hotel for 14 days also if you don’t have the virus? It’s complete madness. Who does be coming up with these ideas?

This Min of Tourism is considered the brain among ministers, that is why he can not be fired as a minister. Yet Vacation In Place is all he can come up with. It’s not a good idea. Allow all tourist with a negative covid test result to enter for as long as they wish. Short of that the tourism sector is in trouble. People relying on tourist are stressed to the max. Can somebody please wake up the most honorable PM.

The plans from the government are so ridiculous that even the hotels that are obviously not operated by Bahamians can see they make no sense and will not waste their time to reopen and make their business look ridiculous and loose credibility for potential changes or short notice changes like last time when people went to the Bahamas and had to make their trip short because the PM changed his mind then 2 days later changed again and then closed beaches when that’s what tourists go for, this PM and the government got to do something better then this! If not then just watch the downhill of everything keep happening for the Bahamas.

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