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May 16, 2006

Comments

Will Simmons

Wow! I am from Harbour Island but currently study college in London (uk) i am very gald to see these issues discussed on this board.My family operate a small hotel one the island and I must emphasise how important repeat clientele are to our economy, and are what makes harbour island special. It is my feeling that tourism officials in nassau continuously fail to understand this, that one tourism product cannot just be copied and pasted to all islands. The devlopment stratagies of urban centers like nassau and freeport are inevitably different to what is needed in a small community like harbour island.the whole cruise fiasco clearly illustrates misunderstanding and misscomunication on various levels, between the ministry, the inefficient and questionably motivated local government, the bussinuess community,the vistors themselves and the natives as to what product is expected and what is beneficial to the local population. To clarify, cruises quite simply repel clientele the island has taken generations to establish and replace with one that spends less money and has less interest in the community. sorry that is an economic fact regardless of any opinion anyone might hold.Harbour island is a complex community with many issues, my recomendation would be improving our decaying and dysfunctional school. Adressing housing concerns for the native population before persuing cruise stopover tourist, effectivly undermining the integrity and economic base of the island. In short harbour island's development issues currently lie in the social sector not the economic sector, governtment attention to our island should be geared not to securing future investment or expanding tourism but remedying social ills and improving community facilities! perhaps this should be considered at the national level, with the third highest GDP per capita in the hemisphere mabye we should focus on redistributing wealth in our economy and adressing social issues not spending millions on ad campaigns to attract tourist we dont need that possibly even comprimise our existing economy and natural environment. just some thoughts!

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