The Government of The Bahamas will implement a number of strategies designed to further “monetize the number of cruise ship passengers traveling to The Bahamas” by taking greater advantage of the country’s tremendous heritage tourism potential. This will involve the restoration and maintenance of historic sites and the designation of iconic locations throughout The Bahamas including heritage sites such as the Clifton Heritage National Park in New Providence, Mount Alvernia in Cat Island, the Columbus Monument in San Salvador and plantation ruins on other Family Islands. The Government of The Bahamas is also committed to completing the National Museum of The Bahamas not only for the benefit of Bahamians, but also as a heritage experience for tourists. The Minnis Administration will also build a Native Food Market Over-the-Hill that will feature Bahamian art and is expected to be a “major economic empowerment and revitalization project.” The Native Food Market will boast a variety of Bahamian foods and products for sale, from ice cream to potato and cassava breads, tamarind sauces, local teas and other Bahamian treats.

    The ice cream sold at the Native Food Market is expected be made from tasty Bahamian fruits such as mango, soursop, sugar apple and coconut. “A Native Food Market will welcome scores of Bahamians and tourists alike,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis said as he laid out his Administration’s objectives for the economic empowerment and revitalization project to the tourism stakeholders gathered at the Hilton Hotel. “It will provide business opportunities and allow many Bahamians to sell their goods and products. Just as a previous FNM Administration created Fish Fry and a new Straw Market, my Administration will build a Native Food Market Over-the-Hill. Many cities and countries around the world boast native food markets.”

    Prime Minister Minnis said the completion of the National Museum of The Bahamas will also reap benefits and dividends for the country. “Cruise ship passengers throughout the world visit museums,” Prime Minister Minnis said. “Imagine if New Providence can provide more of these experiences? “We are nowhere near monetizing the number of cruise ship passengers we have coming to The Bahamas. We can do so through heritage experiences.”

    Addressing the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) Board of Directors and Membership Meeting, June 15, 2017 at the British Colonial Hilton, Prime Minister Minnis said twenty-first century travelers are seeking more than the proverbial sun, sand and sea experiences. “They travel in search of unique and authentic experiences.” Prime Minister Minnis said The Bahamas has a rich culture that can provide those experiences and should be tapped into to generate additional tourism revenue. “Ours is a richly textured culture. Our history, music, food, dance, art, craft and our folkways are distinctly different. We must fully capitalize on our culture and heritage to add a more vibrant visitor experience. “The formation of joint ventures will be a central approach to the execution of projects in this Administration, including the restoration and maintenance of historic sites and the designation of iconic locations,” Prime Minister Minnis said.“Imagine, also, if there was a Maritime Museum located at the Lowell J. Mortimer Maritime Institute, with a virtual reality component and replicas of maritime vessels such as sloops and a scaled-down version of a pirate ship? I understand that the Institute is interested in creating such a museum.”

    The Prime Minister said his Administration will also facilitate the development of heritage and eco-tours throughout The Bahamas, including through the usage of signage. “I note the famous Blue Plaque – an oval plaque seen on numerous buildings throughout the United Kingdom. I suggest we develop the Aqua Plaque, which can be used as a heritage marker in The Bahamas. Designer Carla Whittingham (a Bahamian) has already designed a prototype which is cast in appropriate material for our climate.” The Blue Plaque is a permanent sign installed in public places in the United Kingdom and elsewhere, to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event, serving as a historical marker. Prime Minister Minnis said the Aqua Plaque should be utilized with other signage to note the significance of the heritage site in question and to recall noted Bahamians associated with that site. “I am herby directing the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Tourism to collaborate on making this a reality as soon as possible,” Prime Minister Minnis added.


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