Deputy PM to head delegation to Qatar and Saudi Arabia

 Saturday, May 28, 2022 


Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper will head a delegation of Bahamian ministerial and technical experts to Qatar and Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Mr Cooper, minister of tourism, investments and aviation, said the purpose of this mission is to engage in mutual interest and cooperation around aviation, investments and financial services while positioning The Bahamas as the regional leader in sustainable tourism.

He said in a press statement yesterday that they are seeking to connect the Americas to the rest of the world and to be the gateway in the region for the Middle East and Asia.

The delegation will focus mainly on the aviation sector, with the aim of establishing avenues of technical cooperation and opportunities for training, particularly in the areas of aviation safety oversight, deepening air connectivity and positioning The Bahamas to become the logistical hub for aviation and tourism in the region.

The deputy prime minister said one of the main goals of such trips is to increase the diversification of the country’s visitor profile.
He said that they are aware that visitors who travel from the Middle East and beyond will likely have longer stays and increased visitor spend.

Therefore, they will be discussing ways to raise their tourism profile in these countries, with the expected result being an increased airlift, seat capacity and overall visitor arrivals to The Bahamas.

The mission will also explore opportunities for investment and public private partnerships from the development funds of both governments, as well as the private sector in those countries.

The governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia have invited the delegation and have agreed to substantially underwrite the costs associated with the visit.

The deputy prime minister’s delegation will include Minister of Economic Affairs Senator Michael Halkitis, and Acting Director of Aviation and Deputy Director of Tourism Dr Kenneth Romer, Director of Civil Aviation Alexander Ferguson and Director of Investments Phylicia Woods-Hanna.

The delegation begins travel on Friday, May 27, and will return on Friday, June 3, 2022.

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