Bahamian tourism staff earn certification from Nova University


Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe (right) greets Dr. John Riggs, associate professor of marketing at Nova Southeastern University during the closing ceremony. (Photo by Derek Smith)

Nassau, Bahamas – Staff at Bahamian Department of Tourism offices around the world have completed an intensive three-week training course to complete a certificate program in Sales and Marketing designed specifically for the department in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University.

The program was created to fulfill the vision of Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe for ministry staff to be ready to build a foundation to achieve ministry goals and goals.

Minister Wilchcombe addressed program participants during a closing exercise where they received certificates at SuperClubs Breezes on Friday August 8, 2014.

He told the newly trained recruits that they had not been hired to fill additional seats. “We brought you in because you have a role to play and we are going to give you the opportunity to play that role.”

The minister explained that they were the second group to complete the program and that the first group that completed the training is now playing a major role in the reorganization of the ministry.

He also let them know that the program was designed for participants to become leaders in ministry.

“The plan was to recognize people who have had what we call the means to become industry leaders. We give them the opportunity and the training group places them in the right positions so they can perform.

“You will now be the new examples we will turn to. “

The Minister added: “The productivity of the Ministry of Tourism has increased and it has increased through training. It was obvious last year and it will continue to improve. “

He explained that the ministry is going through a period of transition and will continue to work with Nova to help it achieve its goals.

Members of the management team provided comments and questions after each group’s presentation.

The minister congratulated them for formulating a vision for the ministry that will move it forward.

“I believe you have done something so important because when people tell us about the unemployment rate in our country, my answer is very simple. The only thing unemployed are the minds of our people. If we use the spirits, we will get more from our people. That’s what you were doing, “he said.


Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe is for participants who have completed an intensive three-week Sales and Marketing Certificate program designed specifically for the ministry in conjunction with Nova Southeastern University. (Photo by Derek Smith)

“Your minds were busy. You thought ; you delivered thoughts and ideas on where we can go as a ministry and as a country. You don’t have the luxury of just thinking about the ministry. You have to think of the whole of the Bahamas, from Inagua to Bimini.

Minister Wilchcombe told attendees that tourism will be the country’s main industry for many years to come, but also faces stiff competition from other countries in the region.

“Countries that haven’t adopted tourism before in the Caribbean are now adopting tourism. These countries are now talking about their performance. “

He also noted that there were 1.3 billion tourists traveling to destinations around the world and that number will increase according to the World Tourism Organization between four and five percent this year. “It tells us that people want to move and that they want to connect with other countries and their people.”

He said other countries see the Bahamas as a role model, but the Bahamas has more to offer and it starts with the basics and preparing Bahamians “for the game”.

“You can’t win a championship unless you have the players to play the championship game. To play in the championship, you have to prepare your people and you have to train your people. You also have to make sure that the people you recruited and trained can perform.

Before Minister Wilchcombe spoke, participants split into groups and briefed the Minister and the Department’s Executive Committee on five key areas they focused on during the training. They included: product branding, product development, strategic alliances, transportation and training.

Dr John Riggs, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Nova Southeastern University, also provided an overview of the program.


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