Tourism minister agrees to meet Compass Point owner

Tourism minister agrees to meet Compass Point owner

Ease of doing business expressed by Rodney shared among the private sector, says minister

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While he did not provide a specific timeline, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that he plans to meet with Compass Point owner Leigh Rodney, who has threatened to shut the hotel and restaurant’s doors.

“He is insistent on having a meeting,” the minister told reporters outside the Churchill Building, ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting.

“And you know I am a business man, [so] if you’re that insistent, I will certainly afford you another meeting.”

Rodney threatened to pull his company out of The Bahamas if the Minnis administration does not improve the ease of doing business by the next election.

Following the statement, which was made in a full-page advertisement in The Tribune, the tourism minister said the owner “must remember that he is a guest in this country” and he ought to act “prudently and judiciously”.

While speaking with reporters yesterday, D’Aguilar said, “There are certain conditions that he is imposing on a meeting, but we’re working through those to allow that meeting to happen.”

However, the minister said that as a Cabinet minister he does not want to meet with a single operator as the ease of doing business affects the entire private sector.

“Some of his complaints on the ease of doing business are industry wide,” D’Aguilar said. “And as you know, government has to be widely consultative. So, I am encouraging him to come as a part of the Bahamas Tourism and Hotel Association [or] The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce [and Employers Confederation]. These are private sector organizations that have this concern. I don’t want to limit myself to one operator.”