Small resorts need concessions to survive, says resort operator

Small resorts need concessions to survive, says resort operator
Pigeon Cay Beach Club.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An Out Island boutique resort operator said yesterday that many small resort operators will now need help via some form of concessions from the government to stay in business.

Edwin Mulford, owner of Cat Island’s Pigeon Cay Beach Club, predicted that 60 percent of “tourist season” will be lost until the pandemic is controlled and travel becomes less prohibitive.

“We have to hope that 2021 is the start-over year and we get through all of this. We still have a ways to go,” Mulford told Eyewitness News.

Mulford noted that while his resort is open, it has received very few inquiries.

“January is usually slow, so we wait and see if February to April will tell the story of what’s happening. I think that we will lose the season by 60 percent until COVID has been controlled and travel becomes easier and more user-friendly,” said Mulford.

He added: “We, as very small operators, need some help via concessions by government at least for two years. I’m not talking about free money but whatever they’re willing to do, whether it is duty exemptions or property taxation relief, to keep us in business.”

Mulford urged the government to take a look at the private home rental sector’s taxation issue.

“We have to take a look at this issue before we lose what can be gained this year, before it’s too late, as we are seeing that sector being occupied now and little for the hotels who generate the revenue for government. It is a lose-lose deal unless something is done now,” he said.