TOURISM GROWTH

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Dionysio D’Aguilar, the Minister of Tourism, was the laughing stock of the country last week as he ate crow.  He was the one who said that the Bahamar project was a bad deal and that the people who were involved in its purchase and redevelopment were crooks.  Now with the Rosewood, the last of the big named properties, open; now with the occupancy at 80 per cent, now with bookings in the future looking bright, he is all smiles and thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  What a difference a year makes.  His explanation: he was a private director then working for Sarkis Ismerlian, he is now a Minister of the government working for the Bahamian people.  Just like that huh.  Well let’s repeat the good news: Expedia says that their traffic is up 30 per cent over last year because of Bahamar; Rosewood is now open; the airport had the highest traffic ever last year; the Pointe is on point to grow the tourism product in the city; a brand new hotel by Paul Wynn has broken ground opposite the Prime Minister’s office in Cable Beach.  Jobs, jobs, jobs.  More hotel rooms.  More tourists. Who did all of this?  Why it was the PLP wasn’t it. My! My!