Grand Bahama News
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National Health Insurance Town Meeting held in Freeport
Written by BIS   
Friday, 05 February 2016 08:36

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The first of three National Health Insurance Town Meetings was held on Wednesday evening, February 3, at the Bahamas Union of Teachers Headquarters in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

Dr. Delon Brennan, National Health Insurance Project Manager, pictured addressing the meeting, outlined details of the programme and what is required of residents during the various stages of introduction. Residents, in turn, asked questions where needed.

Accompanying Dr. Brennan was Legal Consultant, Damara Dillett.

The second town meeting is scheduled for Thursday in McLean's Town, and the third, next week in Eight Mile Rock. Residents were encouraged to register to receive the service. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn)

Grand Celebration welcomes first anniversary with new ship
Written by BIS   
Friday, 05 February 2016 08:30

FIRST ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION – The Grand Celebration celebrated its first anniversary on Wednesday, February 03, at Freeport Harbour, since re-launch one year ago. Shown from left are: Ludwig Lozano, Food & Beverage Manager; Uttam Chakraborty, Hotel Director; David Johnson, Sr. Business Consultant for Bahamas Celebration Cruise Line; Betty Bethel, Director of Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama; Boris Tsvetkov, Captain of the Grand Celebration Ship, and Terrance Roberts, Director of Business Development, Grand Bahama Tourism.  (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn) FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Grand Celebration welcomed its first anniversary on Wednesday, February 3, since its re-launch and upgrade to a new vessel.

Betty Bethel, Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama, was present for the occasion and said the Ministry was very excited about the anniversary and the fact that the Grand Celebration has over delivered on expectations.

She added that in order to see more vessels of this magnitude come to Freeport Habour, the Ministry of Tourism is focused on strengthening the product on-island: “We have aggressively been looking for new product, and have come up with quite a few events that we believe will be a stimulator for guests to come to Grand Bahama, so our emphasis is on strengthening guest services, customer service is key, new tourism attractions and events.”

With training being a key component, the Ministry of Tourism will start a series of training programmes in April known as ‘My Tourism Customer Care Workshop.’ There will be four workshops for front line and supervisor staff members.

Turning her attention to the Grand Celebration, Ms. Bethel said the vessel has promoted a ‘Cruise and Stay’ programme, and while they have brought in over 220,000 visitors, some 75,000 were stop-over visitors. “It’s partnerships like this that we are supporting and promoting because it is the cruise-and-stay that makes a difference in the economy.”

Statement from Grand Bahama Port Authority regarding expiring HCA provisions
Submitted by Kimberley Miller   
Friday, 05 February 2016 08:27

Statement from Grand Bahama Port Authority

February 4, Grand Bahama

“A compelling case for an extension of 20 years of the expiring HCA provisions relating to business licence fees and property tax concessions, has been presented by GBPA and its various licencees to the Hawksbill Creek Committee. A substantial extension of the concessions is required to preserve existing jobs and unlock opportunities to create new jobs through expansion projects in the Port Area as well as overall new investment in Grand Bahama. Meaningful dialogue and collaboration with Central Government in the development and regulation of Freeport has always been supported and encouraged by GBPA and its shareholders. We therefore look forward to progressing our negotiations with Central Government with a view to eliminating, as early as possible, the continuing uncertainty regarding the future of those expiring tax concessions.”

Southern gospel radio group visits Grand Bahama
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 04 February 2016 07:31

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Global Southern Gospel Radio Network Cruise, comprised of 70 singers and preachers, came to Grand Bahama on Tuesday, February 2. Led by Mrs. Betty Tilley, group organizer, while on island the group paid a courtesy call on officials at the Ministry of Tourism. Mrs. Tilley said she has organized Gospel Cruises for the past 12 years. Joining the group this year is WWF Former Heavyweight Champion, Nikita Koloff. Mrs. Sandra Russell, Human Resources Manager at the Ministry of Tourism, welcomed the group to Grand Bahama and boasted of the fact that religious tourism is bursting at the seams on the island. Shown standing from left during the courtesy call are: Debbie Huyler, Manager, Religious Tourism; Nikita Koloff, WWF former Heavy Weight Champion; Betty Tilley, owner & director of The Global Southern Gospel Radio Station; Sandra Russell, Ministry of Tourism. Seated from left are: Senator Julian Russell; WWF Former Heavyweight Champion, Nikita Koloff; Mrs. Betty Tilley, owner and director of The Global Southern Gospel Radio Station; and Ms. Sandra Russell, Ministry of Tourism. (BIS Photos/ Vandyke Hepburn)

Even with current growth Grand Bahama economy must move to sustain itself
Written by BIS   
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 13:12

ADDRESSING INSTALLATION BANQUET - Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr.  Michael Darville, at podium, addresses guests of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet, which was held on Saturday night at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club. (BIS Photo/Vandyke Hepburn) FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - Although there has been some growth, the Grand Bahama economy must move to sustain itself, Minister for Grand Bahama the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville said while addressing the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet on Saturday.

The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Banquet and Installation of Officers and Directors under the theme, "Time for Action" at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club.

According to Minister Darville (who spoke on the Prime Minister’s behalf), even though the economic climate in Grand Bahama is a difficult one, many Bahamian-owned businesses remain optimistic and are committed to long-term growth. As proof of this, he said, many of them are upgrading such as Bahama Rock, Caribbean Bottling Company, Bahamian Brewery and Island Bedding.

Minister Darville listed some of the infrastructural work currently underway on the island: state of the art fire station; storage facility at the C.A. Smith Complex, (both of which are on schedule and within budget); ground-breaking ceremony in December for the $6 million causeway to replace the Fishing Hole Road -- a public-private partnership between local stakeholders and the Government of The Bahamas; construction of 36 homes in Bahamia by the Ministry of Housing; and renovations of government buildings that are on-going.

He added that there are planned upgrades for the Rand Memorial Hospital and the West End Clinic.

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