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IS IT REALLY BETTER IN THE BAHAMAS?…NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOESN’T THINK SO!
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Page 1 of 1Total of 1 messages
Posted by:Nov 9th 2007, 08:12:23 am
WillIS IT REALLY BETTER IN THE BAHAMAS?…NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DOESN’T THINK SO!

Recent features of News paper travel sections have read as follows; ‘We're better than Bahamas!’ - The Shetland Times, ‘Why Shetland is Better Than Bahamas’ - The UK Herald .A Recent study done by National geographic Traveller points to some alarming trends in the out islands of The Bahamas. Our ‘pristine undiscovered paradise’ fell well below destinations close to home such as Dominica, St. Vincent and Anguilla, and those far away in the much colder places such as the Shetland islands of Scotland and The Faroe islands located close to Iceland. We were also rated below tropical archipelagos such as the Seychelles, and Mediterranean islands such as Corsica and Cyprus in National Geographic’s island destinations rating. We were however placed ahead of the likes of Provodiciales (Turks and Caicos) Antigua and Jamaica, on the home front and The far flung Canary Islands, Zanzibar, Bali and Mauritius. We are still heralded as having beautiful islands and the study claimed those with environmentally sustainable resorts were among the best…the feeling you get from what they have said is that all is not lost but if we don’t stem current trends it will be! Island destinations were rated according to the following criteria:

• Environmental and ecological quality
• Social and cultural integrity
• Condition of historic buildings and archaeological sites
• Aesthetic appeal; quality of tourism management
• Outlook for the future

Guide to the Scores:
0-25: Catastrophic: all criteria very negative, outlook grim.
26-49: In serious trouble.
50-65: In moderate trouble: all criteria medium-negative or a mix of negatives and positives.
66-85: Minor difficulties.
86-95: Authentic, unspoiled, and likely to remain so.
96-100: Enhanced.

Here is our ranking and description as it appears on the national Geographic website

Out Islands, Bahamas
Score: 66

"The Bahamas Out Islands vary a great deal. For every island that has local involvement and ecologically conscious development, there is another dominated by outside investment, where exploitation of the natural environment is the rule."

"Some of the most beautiful islands in the world but are being threatened by big development, second homes, and a loss of everything Bahamian. Still there are some special places like Andros, San Salvador, and Inagua."

"The allure of Eleuthera and its little sister Harbour Island has been discovered big time—chickens crossing the road mix with celebrity sightings."

"Aesthetically pleasant for those who only care about a beach and a BBQ. Rather appalling in terms of diffusing wealth or educating tourists about the Bahamas."

"The biggest threat lies with selective development by European-style resorts that come in and exceed the labour supply of the islands, resulting in the importation of off-island labour and the accompanying change in social character."


In my view we need to take studies like this very seriously. Maintaining our reputation as a pristine, unspoilt destination is key, as the tourism market is shifting away from sun sea and sand, visitors expressing more interest in wildlife, heritage and social equity.
The final point mentioned -

"The biggest threat lies with selective development by European-style resorts that come in and exceed the labour supply of the islands, resulting in the importation of off-island labour and the accompanying change in social character."

Is a crucial one. Faced with a labour shortage in this country the government must make a changes to its policy for the economic social and environmental well being of our country. The Fact that These projects rely on Mexican Haitian and Jamaican labour proves that they are neither needed nor beneficial in terms of creating employment in our country. THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO BENEFIT ARE THOSE WHO HAVE HANDS IN THE UNDER THE TABLE DEALS THAT APPROVE THESE RESORT PROJECTS.

To create a sustainable, equitable and prosperous economy the key lies in linking sectors such as agriculture and fisheries, heritage, monuments and antiquities, culture and education with the tourism sector….this and ONLY this will make us a competitive destination. Trying to emulate Florida, Saint Baths or Ibiza is pointless. We cannot beat Florida and being Floridian, Ibiza at being Ibizan and y’all know nobody can beat us at being Bahamian. I again must emphasize all is not lost but if we don’t step off this path it will be!

The study can be found at
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/features/islandsrated0711/islands.html

Other articles of interest can be found at
http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1808397.0.0.php
http://www.shetlandtoday.co.uk/Shetlandtimes/content_details.asp?ContentID=24216

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