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PRIME Minister Hubert Ingraham reassured Bahamians last night that the failed deal between Atlantis and Brookfield Asset Management will have no adverse affect on jobs. He insisted that the creditors of the property are seeking to keep it running and profitable.
Bahamians already know the
DNA is not ready for the big time, and today we have further evidence,
with a DNA press release full of lies, from start to finish.
DNA states that I was in the Cabinet room with the Prime Minister and
his Cabinet to discuss the Brookfield purchase of Atlantis.
I was not.
Let me say it again, though, in case the slower minds in the DNA need it to be repeated: I was not in that room.
the other hand, Bran McCartney spent many long years in the FNM
Cabinet, smiling and saying "yes, sir" as the FNM cut education funding,
created jobs for foreigners instead of Bahamians, presided over record
levels of murder and violence, cut special deals for insiders and failed
to put Bahamians first.
The investor behind a new sushi restaurant at Elizabeth on Bay has begun construction, with an estimated budget of $1.2 million. Sur Club Sushi Bar, offering both a club and dining experience, is aiming to open by the end of September, according to owner Guy Gentile.
By ALISON LOWE
Revealing a disappointing 2011 first quarter for bookings across the Bahamian hotel sector, Atlantis executives have confirmed that the resort is pushing ahead with its $100 million upgrade program, which has so far created 90 permanent jobs and will cause at least another 250 to 300 new hirings before the end of this year.
George Markantonis, president and ,managing director of Kerzner International (Bahamas), said bookings at Atlantis and throughout New Providence for the January, February and March period have "not been as good as [the hotel industry] had expected".
However, he added that beyond this, hotels are see ...
By PAUL G
Tribune Staff Reporter
EIGHT thousand jobs at Atlantis could be put at risk if Baha Mar is approved in its current state, Kerzner International's chairman and CEO stressed yesterday.
Voicing his confidence that Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will not pass the deal in its current form, Sir Sol Kerzner said that he was extremely disappointed in the former PLP government for their "overwhelming support" of Baha Mar, which he said will be violating the "most favoured nation" clause of their 1993 and 2003 Heads of Agreement.
Sir Sol informed the media yesterday in a teleconference with senior management of his Atlantis prop ...
The 8,000 jobs at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island would be placed in jeopardy if the government approves the Baha Mar project in its current form, Chairman and CEO of Kerzner International Sir Sol Kerzner said yesterday.
"It's a deal that makes no sense," Kerzner told reporters. "It's a deal that could be harmful to the people of The Bahamas and certainly to future investors and indeed ourselves.
"...It will be a bloodbath."
Kerzner spoke with reporters via telephone from London.
He expanded on a statement he released a day earlier expressing concerns about the terms of the Baha Mar deal and saying it was in breach of agreements Kerzner Internation ...
Kristof Murphy has dreams of becoming a biologist. To make his dream a reality, he knew he had to do well in Biology and Math classes -- what he didn't know was that he also had to do well in Physics. Now he does, after participating in "Career Chatroom" at his school. The Doris Johnson High School 12th grader says speaking with a professional in the engineering field and learning what he has to do to succeed in his dreams has made him more aware of what he has to do.
Local economists and analysts must be watching with a very wary eye the most recent jobs reports coming out of the United States.
Last week, the latest jobs numbers -- for the month of May -- were released. The news was worrisome. The U.S. economy added only 69,000 jobs for that month, compared to 77,000-plus in April and 143,000-plus in March.
America's recovery from now what is widely referred to as the 'Great Recession' is sputtering at best.
This is bad news for The Bahamas. Weak performance in the U.S. economy translates into weak performance in The Bahamas' major economic pillar -- tourism.
The close inter-relationship between the U.S. and Bahamian economies is nothing new and the impact of any movement in U.S. labor markets is almost instantly transmitted to our tourist industry.
American visitors to The Bahamas tend to travel more frequently when they are confident about their future well being and when they have surplus funds or more disposable income at their command.
As the U.S. economy slowly emerges from the devastating global recession, any news regarding a slow down in job growth in the U.S. not only shakes the confidence of the U.S. consumer, it could also lead to immediate adjustments in household budgets resulting in cut-backs in unnecessary discretionary spending, or more precisely, tourist travel to places such as The Bahamas.
For the past three years or more the Ministry of Tourism together with local tourists associations have been desperately trying to increase visitor numbers to The Bahamas via various promotion and advertising strategies including subsidizing "companion-free" flights to The Bahamas. More recently, the mega-resort Atlantis, once known for its robust occupancy, has severely slashed its rates to attract badly-needed visitors.
While there has been some success, we are not out of the woods yet and any disturbances in the U.S. labor markets which would dampen or restrain our efforts is, to say the least, most unwelcomed.
Some analysts predict that the economic turmoil in Europe could push the U.S. and most of the rest of the world into another big recession. If that is the case, Bahamians should brace themselves for the fact that these tough economic times are not going anywhere soon. And act accordingly.
In the face of the dismal jobs reports, we are dealing with our own set of economic challenges. The country's deficit for the 2011/2012 fiscal year rose to a record $570 million -- an increase of $256 million or 82 percent more than the $314 million that was originally anticipated. The government now has to borrow $504 million to cover this deficit. This means that the national debt will increase to $4.8 billion by the end of the next fiscal year. And a projected $5.4 billion by 2014.
These continue to be extraordinary economic times that require bold, creative and extraordinary measures from policy makers.
We are hopeful, for our collective sakes, that the recent downturn in the U.S. job numbers are an aberration and not the beginning of a long negative trend which could render further harm to our increasingly fragile economy.
Tourism is the largest industry in The Bahamas and the world and continues to grow. Today, there are over 1,000 different types of jobs which Bahamians can choose from in the diverse and dynamic tourism industry. This week's Tourism Champion is Charmaine Burrows.
You may be talking to a tourism champion when, early in a personal interview you're told, "I hope you turn some of this questioning into how we need to appreciate the industry and take better care of it."
Veteran sales and marketing guru Charmaine Burrows has been in the industry for 32 years, scoring the Cacique award for her field in 1999. Today she is the spa manager responsible for sales and marketing at the Mandara Spa, located in the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. She may find herself promoting special mid-week packages, or trying to get more brides and leisure travellers into the spa, but her chosen career in sales fits right in with her outgoing personality.
"They categorize me as 'yellow', a sunflower -- meaning I'm a people person." Burrows said. "My boss always tells me I have personality-plus."
Burrows has been in the hospitality industry her entire professional career, employing her personality first as a social hostess at the Flager Inn, a former Paradise Island property which later became a Lowe's hotel. At Lowe's, she began on her sales path, the certified hospitality sales executive saying once you learn how to sell, you can really sell anything.
She moved to the Crystal Palace, on Cable Beach, before joining the Mandara team where she's been for over a decade now. The sales skills were in place, and Mandara, a part of Steiner Leisure Limited, brought her up to speed on the spa and the various treatments it offers through its training program.
Burrows is motivated by the impact that she can have on people -- not just the direct impact she has on customers, but the broader impact she knows that has on the country. Through her interaction with visitors, the spa manager knows she may land a return trip to the spa, but the industry may earn a return trip to the country too. She introduced a couple who have been coming to The Bahamas for 34 years now, the Harrells, to illustrate the point.
"To be honest with you, that's why we keep coming back to The Bahamas," Milton Harrell told Guardian Business. "It's people like her. But not just her, everybody."
It's the ability to have that kind of impact that drives Burrows. "Meeting someone for the first time, showing them your country and enticing them to come back," as she described it.
Burrows may have been influenced along the years to appreciate her role in success of the tourism product by the industry giants she names as her mentors. There is her current 'boss', Mandara's Regional Vice President for The Bahamas, Caribbean and Latin America, Youlanda Deveaux. She also listed her first boss, John Clive Pugh, Robert Sands, now a Baha Mar senior vice president, and said Ron Overend who was the general manager at the Flagler when she started established the foundation of her mentorship experience. She also singled out the present Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace and Bahamian Goodwill Ambassador Vernal Sands as mentors.
From them she said the overriding lesson she took was to always be dedicated, committed and to give consistent service. Burrows had a simple, but important message to anyone considering a career in the industry.
"The sky is the limit," she said. "Tourism teaches you about life." Tourism, she said, is no longer an industry reserved for housekeepers and waiters. Burrows rattled off business, marketing, technology, accounting, photography and videography as quick examples of how the industry is creating diverse career opportunities for Bahamians.
Eventually Burrows got her wish, and shared her thoughts about the importance of protecting the industry.
"While I think we have come a long way, when you look at our destination compared to others and the tragedies they've had, we've been blessed," she said. "We need to continue to take care of this business because it impacts so many lives -- a variety of lives. We need to be grateful for what we have and treat it that way, realizing that if we don't we'll go through the same impact like other countries.
"It's too hard to rebuild it, so it's better to keep it. If people come to our country and have a good experience, they then become our individual marketers who go and come back, and tell their friends, and bring someone new because of the experience."
"The industry has been very good to me. Fabulous," Burrows said, summarizing her experience. "I absolutely love it."