BHTA at Baha Mar

CHTM faculty and staff attended the Board of Directors Meeting of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association on February 8, 2018 at the recently opened Baha Mar Convention Centre. Ms. Christine Rollins and Ms. Elizabeth Mackay were both in attendance to represent the Centre as well as to hear the most recent industry updates and projections.

Rollins and Mackay

The President of Baha Mar reported a robust holiday season with the majority of rooms occupied. Resort restaurants continue to open, with the most recent being the Italian and Chinese offerings. The significant support of the local community was noted and appreciation extended for some.

Baha Mar Convention Centre

The final phase of Atlantis Coral Towers room renovations is currently underway while Harbourside renovations continue and are expected to be completed soon. The holiday season was successful with high occupancy rates and sold out shows featuring Sting and Cool and The Gang. Local food offerings including Frankie Gone Bananas, McKenzie’s Conch Stand and Pirate’s Republic (locally produced craft beer) are on stream. Fire and Ice with its nine flavors of local made ice-cream is located in the Coral Towers lobby and continues to do very well. January 2018 was one of the best in a long time and the numbers to March are trending extremely well.

 Leroy Browne of Hilton Hotel reported a strong finish to the 2017 fourth quarter. While hurricane activity adversely affected figures for September and October, the overall quarter performance was positive. To date January has been flat. The hotel continues in the midst of finalizing refurbishment plans.

 Gary Williams of Sandals Royal Bahamian reported that the resort ended December three points ahead of December 2017. Renovations to the tune of $5.1 million were completed on ten villas in time for the Christmas season. To date the first quarter of 2018 looks positive.

Gary Williams of Sandals Royal Bahamian

Jeremy Mutton, Sandals Emerald Bay, noted a very strong start in 2018. The 2nd annual PGA tournament hosted in Exuma proved successful both for the resort and the island. The resort ended January with occupancy of 84%, February is looking at 94% – a good start to 2018. He went on to update on the performance throughout the Family Islands – North and central family islands outperformed the southern islands. The 2018 forecast is for the largest growth in the northern islands with the southern islands expecting minimal improvement. Hotels in the north continue to perform well, central also, while southern islands continue to struggle. Accessibility is the chief concern. Airlift in the southern Bahamas continues to present a significant challenge, rendering the islands essentially inaccessible – one small Acklins hotel ran occupancy rates of approximately 2% for all of 2017.

Tru Tru Bahamian vendors were showcased at the meeting. The Tru Tru Bahamian Festival was held at John Waitlings Distillery in February 2018 where over 5,000 attendees were at the event that is intended to reduce leakages from the current 85 cents of every dollar. There are hopes to move the Tru Tru Festival to the family islands as well as to host similar events more frequently. The Local Sourcing Committee continue to strategize ways to reduce leakages of tourism revenue.

Tru Tru Vendors

A special presentation ‘Creating a world Class Bahamas’ was given by Joy Jibrilu, Director General of Tourism, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. Commitment, connectivity, capital, collaboration, convenience and cost were noted as key areas of focus for world class tourism destinations. She noted that regional success in tourism may be a result of enduring demand for tropical holidays as opposed to our commitment to technological and business enhancement in product development. Value for money was highlighted as a key challenge for the Bahamas tourism industry with the high cost of the Bahamas holiday being an issue as a  result of the poor justification of the cost of the holiday given the shortfalls in quality experiences, restaurants, accommodations and customer service. Connectivity was also mentioned as a critical element of success. A simple website profile is no longer enough, connectivity with online travel agencies and travel apps is essential as they are extensively used in the process of holiday choice and booking. The Director General highlighted proximity, diversity, friendliness and industry experience as some of The Bahamas’ main strengths.

Joy Jibrilu, Director General of Tourism, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation

The keynote speaker, The Honorable T. Brent Symonette, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration spoke on ‘How the Ministry of Financial Service, Trade and Industry and Immigration can Impact and Improve Doing Business in the Tourism Industry’. Significantly he notes that IDB class A airports will receive $30 million in necessary upgrades. Airports in north Eleuthera and central Eleuthera are among those to be upgraded. North Eleuthera being the third largest airport in the Bahamas.

The Honorable T. Brent Symonette, Minister of Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration

Written by E. Mackay © 2018


Caribbean Travel and Tourism: Movie Day

The Caribbean Travel and Tourism lecture scheduled for Thursday mornings at 10:15 am every week in the Lecture Theatre, transformed into a movie day on February 8, 2018. Students started filing into the room at around 10:10 am where they signed the attendance sheet and received a worksheet and snacks.

Students focused on the movie

The movie shown was Life and Debt; a movie that examines the economic and social situation in Jamaica, and specifically the impact thereon of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank’s structural adjustment policies. The movie started at 10:15 am as scheduled. The students sat in silence as they enjoyed the movie while enjoying their snacks and popcorn which was provided by the course lecturer Ms. Elizabeth Mackay. During different intervals, you could hear laughter erupting from the audience.

Students enjoying the movie and eating snacks

The movie ended at 11:39 am, however students took this time to complete their worksheets while still enjoying their frozen Caprisun.

Come Out and Be Blessed

It was time for Soldiers Armed with Truth and Love (S.A.L.T.) to be revitalized. On Friday, February 2, 2018, the S.A.L.T. group hosted a Praise Explosion to ring in the new semester. The event took place in the school’s dining room from 5pm that evening. The event was led by the president of the group; Tonya Tobierre.

Welcome Remarks by the President of S.A.L.T.

The evening commenced with prayers and welcoming remarks by the president and was then followed by scripture sermons from Tracy Cyril and Jovia O’Connor who are both members of the group. Both speakers were short and sweet in their presentations.

Each presentation encouraged students to keep on pushing during the difficulties of the school semester and to never forget that the Lord is always there to see them through. These encouraging words were followed by the talented choir members who had the audience on their feet giving praises to the Lord. After a few songs of praises we had three powerful testimonies given by members of the audience, specifically from Stevvalyn Jack, Samantha Bennett and Jameelia Stephens. Each testimony spoke of different circumstances touching the hearts of all who were present.

Testimony by a member of the audience

The choir once again graced us with their presence by filling the atmosphere with upbeat praise songs. The audience joined in clapping and singing. These joyful noises unto the Lord were put on pause as the president thanked all persons who attended one of the first events put on by the group. Thanks was given especially to the director, Dr. McLeod and Administrative Assistant, Ms. Glinton for taking the time out to attend the event. The closing prayer was done and the event ended with a well-known praise song, “One Generation” which had everyone “feeling the spirit” in the atmosphere.

S.A.L.T choir in action

By Tonya Tobierre, BSc. Tourism Management, 2018

UWI CHTM Lecturer Gains Hospitality Education Certification

Dr. Michelle Black attended the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) programme hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) from December 19-21, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Seventeen educators from across the United States and the Bahamas completed the development programme. Developed by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, the CHE programme is the only professional development opportunity that is designed for post-secondary hospitality educators around the world.

Group Picture

The four-day workshop offered intensive, interactive learning experiences and the latest global principles and skills to provide the best educational experience for hospitality students. The programme was facilitated by Dr. Michael Terry, a hospitality instructor at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management and a frequent speaker at hospitality management conferences throughout North America, Europe, Middle East, Caribbean, Asia, Central and South America. To become certified by AHLEI, one must meet the knowledge and experience requirements and successfully complete a certification examination. Dr. Black now carries with her name the CHE designation. Dr. Black was awarded the CHE lapel pin and certificate plaque by AHLEI.

Workshop 2017

For AHLEI-approved certified hospitality educators to retain their designation, after every 5 years, they will be undergoing a re-certification process, including garnering points taken from their combined teaching experience, continuing education, professional affiliations, and other educational services such as conducting hospitality training’s and related workshops.

Written by Dr. Michelle Black

UWI CHTM Calendar of Events 2018

To my fellow students: Welcome back! I hope you had a restful vacation and you are rejuvenated to continue the journey ahead. I want to encourage you to stay focused, resilient, positive, motivated and steadfast in spite of the many pot holes you have faced so far and will continue to face this academic year. Rest assured that victory is within your reach!

As a third year student of The Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management (CHTM), I have experienced and enjoyed quite a bit of school events during my time here. With an institution of only 69 students, there is no high expectation concerning events when compared to campuses like Mona and Cave Hill. CHTM, however has excelled at affording students quality education along with interactive social events.

The Student Executive ensures that a calendar of events is thoroughly organized to entice our students and maintain balance between relaxation and school work. During the first semester, we have had memorable experiences such as Jerk Fest, Potluck, Siblings Week, Wacky Day and Praise Explosion. A number of events have been scheduled for this semester; Cupid’s Arrow All White Party, Jerk Fest, Culturama, Sports Day, Miss UWI CHTM Pageant, J’Ouvert, Nominations Day, Elections Day and Carnival.

The first events scheduled for this academic year are the Cupid’s Arrow All White Party and Jerk Fest which is penciled in for February.  The previous Jerk Fest raked in huge profits and as such the events team agreed to host a second one.

Scheduled for March is our annual Sports Day and Culturama. Sports Day is the day used by students to showcase their rivalry, competitiveness, endurance, team spirit and sportsmanship. The Houses are Magic (yellow), Ivy League (white), Phoenix (red) and Supreme (blue). Culturama is an event which allows students to showcase native dishes authentic to their respective countries.

Sports Day 2017

The Miss UWI CHTM Pageant, J’Ouvert, Nominations and Election Day are all arranged to take place in the month of April.  The Miss UWI CHTM is a platform for young ladies to express themselves by fusing fashion, creativity, music, art and talent. This year there are seven young ladies participating in the competition. We are looking forward to a night of elegance, talent and skills. J’Ouvert involves  a group of students dancing to the sounds of live music travelling a specific route over a period of two to three hours.

Election day involves the nomination of candidates who portray strong leadership and sound decision making skills to form the UWI CHTM Executive team. The Executive team  consists of the President, Vice President, Treasurer/Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Events Coordinator and Assistant Events Coordinator.

To my fellow second years, come out and support the upcoming events and to the third years students, make your last semester count and go out with a bang!

The following below is the CHTM Calendar of Events 2018

(Events and dates to be confirmed)

Month Event
February Praise Explosion, Cupid’s Arrow All White Party, Jerk Fest
March Culturama, Sports Day
April Miss UWI CHTM Pageant, J’Ouvert, Election Nominations, Elections Day
May UWI CHTM Carnival


Photo credits by Tracy Cyril (BSc. Tourism Management, 2018)

Written by Tracy Cyril

CHTM Faculty presents paper at UNWTO conference

Ms. Elizabeth Mackay, tourism lecturer at CHTM, had the distinct privilege of having a paper accepted for presentation at the prestigious United Nations World Tourism Organization conference  on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism held in Montego Bay Jamaica, November 27-29, 2017. The paper,  ‘One Eleuthera Foundation: from Shared Vision to Inclusive Development – Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism‘, was co-authored by Chief Executive Officer of the One Eleuthera Foundation, Mr. Shaun Ingraham.

E. Mackay at the opening ceremony

With over 100 speakers and more than 1,500 delegates, the conference, the largest to be convened outside of the United Nations General Assembly. The conference was an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017. High level government officials, international agency representatives, academia, the private sector, tourism concerns and students attended the three day event.

Retiring UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, addresses delegates at UNWTO Conference

The conference represented a key opportunity to present information on the efficacy of civil society in creating partnerships for inclusive and sustainable development. The presentation focused on One Eleuthera’s success in overcoming development challenges in Eleuthera through engagement with key partners locally and internationally.

L-R Jennifer Griffith, Aulianna Poon and Shaun Ingraham

Retiring Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, Taleb Rifai; Allen Chastenet, Prime Minister of St. Lucia; and Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism (Jamaica) were among the distinguished speakers to address the delegates. Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness gave the keynote address

The conference was convened in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the World Bank Group, Government of Jamaica, and Inter-American Development Bank, in collaboration with the World Travel and Tourism Council, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Chemonics and The George Washington University.

Arising out of the conference, the Montego Bay Declaration on ‘Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’, calls for the prioritization of inclusive and sustainable growth in tourism and recognizes the vulnerability of, and special circumstances of, small island developing states. The declaration identifies financing, partnerships and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals as critical factors in tourism planning and development. It further recognizes the global importance of tourism and presents guidelines for harnessing tourism’s potential to create positive and sustainable change in countries, communities and lives.

© 2017, E. Mackay

CHTM Faculty attend launch of the Sustainable Nassau Action Plan

CHTM’s Dr. Michelle Black, hospitality lecturer, and Ms. Elizabeth Mackay, tourism lecturer, attended the launch of the Sustainable Nassau Action Plan held at the University of The Bahamas (UB) on February 1, 2018.

CHTM Faculty – M. Black and E. Mackay

The event was hosted by the UB, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Government of The Bahamas. Dr. Nicola Virgil-Rolle from the Office of The Prime Minister moderated the launch which featured welcome messages from Dr. Rodney Smith, President – University of The Bahamas and Mrs. Florencia Attademo-Hirt, Country Representative – IDB. The Honorable Frankie Campbell, Minister of Transport and Local Government, delivered the keynote address.

The Hon. Frankie Campbell, Minister of Transport and Local Government

Important issues covered included economic, environmental and social sustainability issues around linkages, technology, innovation, tourism, climate change, mobility, resilience, safety, waste management, open spaces and energy.

Dr. Rodney Smith, President, The University of The Bahamas

The completion of the masterplan was hailed by the IDB Country Representative as an important milestone in the development of a sustainable city and island of New Providence. The action plan complements the national development plan, Vision 2040.

© 2018, E. Mackay

Dr. Mark Lewis presents two research papers at MSBM Conference

Mona School of Business and Management staged its Conference on Business and Management themed “Driving Transformation: Finance, Enterprise Development & Wealth Creation” on November 8 – 10, 2017 at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, Montego Bay, Jamaica. The tagline “Learning, Knowing, Doing”, signals the role of Mona School of Business and Management in knowledge creation and the application of the resulting scholarship to the everyday challenges of business.

The keynote speaker was David Storey, OBE, is Professor at the Department of Business Management and Economics at the University of Sussex, UK. He has a First Class Degree in Economics, a Diploma in Applied Statistics and a PhD in Economics. He has two honorary Doctorates and has been Visiting Professor at the Universities of Manchester, Reading and Durham, and was an International Fellow at Sydney University in 2009. He is an EIM Fellow.

CHTM’s Dr. Mark Lewis, presented two papers that complemented each other. Recognising that Caribbean governments are struggling with enormous budget deficits and substantial public borrowings, the first article sought to provide a guide as to how governments may advance its collaborative development strategy and secondly, how governments may improve its revenue yield through building a tax culture.

Financing Developments through Collaboration in the Caribbean – Arguments for Improved Vigilance, Governance and Policy Regulation Framework: The Case of Guyana, recognises the importance of governments and the private sector collaborating to financing economic developments in the Caribbean. However, too often, the inter-organisation relationships, especially in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are ad hoc, and the desired outcomes are far from realised. The main argument and conclusion of the paper were that Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean could meet its increasing demand for infrastructure through private-public partnerships. This article recommends improved governance, vigilance of the “public” through rigorous regulatory and policy frameworks, thus preventing predatory behaviours from the “private” in the partnership. It also recommends sharing of information, experiences and knowledge between Caribbean countries which is crucial for the acceptance and success of PPP model of financing.

Building a tax culture: A case of taxpayer education argued for improved taxpayer education as a part of governments’ tax reform agenda. This study examined the effects of taxpayer education and publicity programmes on tax compliance behaviour and other factors necessary for the development of a tax culture in The Bahamas. The study concluded that taxpayer education and publicity programmes are decisive factors in the building of a tax culture.  The results of this study strengthened the arguments for the provision of taxpayer education and publicity programmes using both traditional and non-traditional medium. It advances the case for introducing taxpayer education programmes into the formal education system similar to Jamaica, Mexico and Morocco among others.

The conference closed on a high note with, with the greeting of old friends and forging new friendships. The extent to which scholars work was critiqued and the feedback provided by experts practitioners and academic were priceless. Papers were peer-reviewed publicly, and presenters were reminded that the process was not personal.

Apart from the conference, the immersion in  Jamaican culture was breathtaking. Waking every morning in Ocho Rios overlooking the ocean, having breakfast and dinner at local restaurants was a priceless experience.


Written by Dr. Mark Lewis

Message from Acting Programme Director

A warm welcome to the Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management (CHTM) in Nassau, The Bahamas! CHTM has been in existence since 1978 and currently provides two undergraduate degree programmes: BSC. Hotel Management (Special) and BSc. Tourism Management (Special). The present location of the Centre, within one the World’s prominent tourism destinations, provides students with an opportunity to obtain wide ranging exposure to industry practices and learning experiences. In addition, a gathering of students at CHTM from across the region, who select to pursue studies in hotel and tourism management, gives this learning environment a real Caribbean focus.

As a student of The University of the West Indies (UWI) based in Nassau, you are supported by the wider UWI community. The management and staff at the Centre are engaging and fully support students to achieve their optimal potential so that they can take tourism and hospitality knowledge and practices to a higher level. Students are encouraged to stay focused on the goals they set themselves to achieve, and to participate in improving the University community here at CHTM.

The Bahamian environment is ideal to harness knowledge about tourism and as a result our students continue to excel as a CHTM teaching and learning environment fully prepares you for the tourism and hospitality industries. Practical knowledge is a very important component of teaching and learning activities at CHTM and therefore students are encouraged to obtain internship opportunities here in The Bahamas, across the wider Caribbean region and abroad. During your internship, students should make every effort to build good working relationships with prospective employers and develop their knowledge and skills.

The UWI CHTM wishes you all success with your studies.