Citing the economic benefits of the yachting industry to the islands in general, and the role the yachting community played in hurricane recovery efforts, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has announced the first-ever Bahamas Charter Show, to be held 27 February to 1 March.
The show will produced by Ft Lauderdale, Florida-based Worldwide Boat, a yacht charter and charter management company, whose president, Sanaa Vohra, told Eyewitness News that the timing of the show is paramount.
“With the Bahamas getting all of these awards in tourism, this year is time for us to strike and to put the Bahamas on the map on the yachting industry for brokers to really come, see and feel what The Bahama has to offer,” she said.
The Bahamas have been making strategic moves over the past few years to appeal to the yachting industry, including changes to flagging regulation, taxes and fees, and a massive effort to clean up harbours, bays and coves of derelict, abandon boats following recent hurricanes.
“This is a great opportunity to capitalise on these revenues, explain our modernisation of the clearing process and some of the charter fees,” said Peter Maury, president of the 48-member Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM). “[The show] is a good opportunity to represent the marinas to the charter brokers and the yachts that come to the show as this business brings so much industry to people outside of just the marinas and fuel docks.”
Kenneth Romer, executive director of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, underscored the high expectations his office has for the event.
“This is a market that the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is placing special emphasis on going into 2020,” Romer said.
“On average a single yacht visiting the Bahamas within a week can inject up to US$1m back into our Bahamian economy. The spend directly impacts our family island communities.”
Ministry officials will be on hand throughout the four-day event to answer questions about the Bahamas and its maritime capabilities.