Tourism is a significant industry in the Bahamas as it has employed the majority of the citizens. The tourism sector mainly supports the Bahamas' economy. According to the report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (2017) on Travel & Tourism Economic Impact, the industry contributed 19.8 percent of Bahamas’ gross domestic product in 2016. The report also projects exponential growth in the sector. The projected increase in tourism activities is evident by the growth in related industries such as hotels, travel agencies, and transportation services. The report by Spencer (2019) indicates that the tourism industry in the country has employed more than 50 percent of the citizens. In 2012, 70 percent of the tourists were cruise visitors (Spencer, 2019). The number of tourists in “All Bahamas” increased from 1,441,694 in 2017 to 1,627, 121 in 2018, representing 12.9 percent growth (Spencer, 2019). In Nassau, the number increased by 16.3 percent from 941, 802 in 2017 to 1,095,485 in 2018 (Spencer, 2019). At Grand Bahamas, the number of stopover visitors increased from 154,065 in 2017 to 164,748 in 2018. IN Out Islands, the number increased by 6.11 percent from 345,827 in 2017 to 366,888 in 2018 (Spencer, 2019). The tremendous growth in stopover visitors increased the country’s revenues, thereby boosting the economy. Although tourism has several economic benefits in The Bahamas, it also presents environmental and cultural challenges that adversely affect the nation’s values.
Tourism is the primary economic activity in the country. Therefore, it is a significant source of government revenues and also a source of livelihood to the citizens. The industry boosts the country’s economy and also enables the government to raise revenues which are used for other essential government functions such as the provision of quality healthcare services. Moreover, as people are employed in the industry, their standards of living are improved. By creating employment, tourism presents a wide range of economic benefits to the country. These benefits include reduced crime, improvements in customers’ purchasing potential, and also combat poverty. According to the report by Spencer (2019), “If tourists do not come to the Bahamas, those persons directly involved in tourism, for example, the straw vendors, the taxi drivers, retail store owners, etc., could be unable to pay their bills.” Therefore, the tourism industry is the backbone of the country’s economy.
Most of the criminal activities are conducted by the unemployed youth who lacks a source of income. According to the research studies by Spencer (2019), crime rates are high in regions with high unemployment rates. The criminals may resort to drug abuse, human sex trafficking, theft, burglary, and robbery with violence to earn a living. Thus, these social evils are avoided by the increase in employment opportunities in the country. The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest nations in the Caribbean Island due to the tourism industry. The industry has improved security in the region as the citizens have sustainable employment opportunities. Human sex trafficking in the Bahamas is low because it is difficult to convince the economically empowered citizens to engage in unethical businesses for a living (Sealey, & Logan, 2019). Thus, the tourists are secure in the country as they are unlikely to attack by criminals. Low crime rates save the government’s resources that would be traditionally used to improve security measures.
The tourism industry has created employment, thereby combating poverty in the region. Most people who are employed in the hospitality and tourism industry earn generous salaries that are needed to improve their living standards. Reduced poverty enables the public to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, healthcare services and education. Literacy rates in the country are high as each household has the required capital to educate their children. Reduced poverty has also decreased infant mortality rates in the state. By 2004, only 9.3 percent of the country’s population was living below the poverty line (Spencer, 2019). Over 90 percent of the laborers are employed in tourism and other service industries. The unemployment rate in the country by 2009 was 14.2 percent (Spencer, 2019). Most families have access to quality healthcare services due to the reliable income from the tourism industry.
High employment rates in the country have raised the proportion of middle-class consumers. Consequently, the public has high purchasing potential. As the consumer potential is increased, investors are attracted to set up industries in the country. The Bahamas is a favorable investment destination as the public have the resources to purchase a wide range of products. Increased incomes in the country allow other investors to sell their goods and services with ease. The tourism industry has pioneered the development of other service industries such as banking in the country. According to the report by Spencer (2019), Bahamas is the third most prosperous country in America as a result of its tourism industry. The nation’s economy is highly dependent on tourism and tertiary services.
Growth in tourism has prompted investors to diversify the country’s economy. Investors have improved the hospitality, leisure, and recreational services in the country to enhance the tourists experience in the country. Moreover, the transportation industry in the country has grown as a result of tourism. The government has improved the infrastructure to facilitate the movement of visitors from one destination to the other. The improved transport system is also favorable to the external investors who use the road, water, and air transport to move their goods. Although the Bahamas has a population of about 390,000 people, it has a gross domestic product of $9.3 billion in 2017 (Global Finance, 2019). Bahamas GDP per capita in 2017 was $25,095.5. Its purchasing power parity is 9.4 billion (Global Finance, 2019). Bahamas accounted for 0.007 percent of the global gross domestic product in 2017(Global Finance, 2019). In 2016, over 3 million tourists visited the country. Most of the tourists came from Canada and the United States.
Several businesses have bloomed in the country as a result of tourism. Some of the firms that have cropped up include the Kerzner International‘s Atlantis Resort and Casino, Sandals Resort, and Breezes Super Club (Spencer, 2019). Bahamas government has used its industry to attract investors from the Far East, Canada, Latin America, and Europe (Spencer, 2019). Since the consumer potential in the country has increased and the government has improved the transport infrastructure, investors will be drawn to the market. The financial service is the other sector that has significantly developed due to increased tourism in the country. Several offshore financial companies in the country enable pilgrims to conduct monetary transactions.
Although agriculture contributes only 5 percent of the country’s economy, it is boosted by tourism. The government uses the tourism revenues to diversify the nation’s economy. Consequently, the fisheries and agriculture industry is heavily funded by the government to create additional employment. According to the report by Chevers, & Spencer, (2017), the agricultural products are consumed locally, thereby relieving the government the burden of importing the foodstuffs. However, some of the fish and lobster are exported to other nations. Currently Bahamas import food worth $250 million annually Chevers, & Spencer, (2017). However, it leverages the tourism revenues to reduce the imports for sustainable development. Foreign investors have conducted feasibility studies to explore dairy production, horticulture, and shrimp farming. Diversification of the nation’s economy through tourism has enabled the country to maintain the value of its currency against the dollar.
Capitalists in the tourism industry have generated significant revenues which are used to explore other industries. These industries that have developed as a result of tourism revenues include the BORCO oil facility, PharmaChem Technologies, and Freeport Pharmaceutical Firm (Spencer, 2019). Moreover, the Commonwealth Brewery Company was set up in Nassau to produce alcoholic products for the visitors. The firm provides a wide range of liquor including Kalik beers, Guinness, and Heineken that are used by both tourist and the locals (Chevers, & Spencer, 2017). The banks which have been set up in the country as a result of tourism include the Royal Fidelity Merchant Bank, and Fidelity Bank Ltd (Spencer, 2019). The growth in service industry has diversified the nation’s economy.
Tourism in the country has increased the government’s revenues as the number of investments in the country has increased. The enterprises which operate in the country pay taxes to the governments which are used to improve the nation’s social amenities. Moreover, the employees in these organizations also pay taxes that support the government’s functions. The government uses the revenues to set up healthcare facilities, create employment, and combat poverty in the region (Chevers, & Spencer, 2017). The Value Added Tax (VAT) increases as the number of foreign tourists grow. For instance, the country’s VAT was 7.5 in 2015 but rose to 12 percent in 2018. The increase was caused by the growing tourism activities in the nation.
The Bahamas’ government ears foreign exchange from the tourists who are used to pay government debts and also improve the nation’s economy. The industry has enabled the US dollar to stay at Par with the Bahamian dollar (Spencer, 2019). Moreover, the government uses the generated revenues to pay its employees and maintain its critical infrastructures such as energy, roads, and security. Most of the government’s projects are funded by the revenues accrued from the tourism industry. Thus, the sector has minimized the government’s foreign borrowing and enhances sustainable development.
The foreign exchange facilitates the importation of goods and services from other countries. Given that the Bahamian dollar is stable, the state is not affected by currency fluctuations. The stable currency has significant advantages to the state as the international prices of essential goods and services such as oil and petroleum are set in US dollars. Since the US dollar floats in the country’s economy, the citizens can shop for goods and services abroad and also take their children to school (Spencer, 2019). Thus, foreign exchange has significantly improved the nation’s economy.
Tourism has indirect benefits to other investors such as landlords, mortgage firms, banks, and vendors. Individuals who are employed in the hospitality industry generate revenues that they use to pay rent, mortgage loans, and other financial obligations that sustain the nation’s economy (Carroll & Brown, 2017). Without employment, the Bahamas’ citizens would not have the required resources to meet their basic needs, thereby collapsing the economy. According to the report by Spencer (2019), “If tourists do not come to the Bahamas for a period of time, persons employed directly in tourism could begin to lose their jobs, and this would be felt in every sector of the economy.” Therefore, the government must protect the industry to prevent loss of employment opportunities.
Tourism has prompted the government to improve the nation’s ecosystem and preserve its heritage. Vegetation is maintained in both urban and rural areas to serve as picnic sites and beautiful sceneries. According to the research studies by Spencer (2019), Bahamas is one of the countries that have maintained its natural vegetation, thereby reducing its carbon footprints as a result of tourism. Unlike Canada, most of the native vegetation in the country is preserved. Deforestation has adverse environmental impacts such as depletion of the ozone layer, the formation of acidic rainfall, disruption of water catchment areas and climate change (Carroll & Brown, 2017). Acidic rain corrodes metallic structures and also adversely affects agricultural products. The rainfall reduces the soil’s pH which impedes crop development. Moreover, acidic rain may also affect aquatic animals such as fish. Furthermore, research by Spencer (2019) indicates that deforestation causes global warming as it increases carbon gas emissions into the atmosphere. The released gasses form a layer on the atmosphere which absorbs terrestrial radiation and absorbs the heat from the ground. As the heat is retained, the global temperatures are increased. In the Bahamas, environmentally friendly practices have boosted tourism and also protected the water catchment areas in the nation.
The tourism industry in the Bahamas has enhanced globalization and Transculturation. Visitors from foreign countries interact with the locals, thereby promoting peace and sustainable development. Globalization and transculturation have also increased business transactions. Some of the tourists spot investment opportunities in the country. Consequently, they mobilize their resources to meet the market niche. According to the report by Goodman on The Advantages and Disadvantages of Tourism (2019), “It also promotes cross-cultural awareness for both locals and tourist and builds bridges of understanding between cultures.” Transculturation has opened the Bahamas to global investors, thus boosting the nation’s economy. Cross-cultural interactions enable people to change their stereotypes and combat racisms. Tourism allows visitors to change their preconceptions about a given country and also develop empathy and an in-depth understanding of different cultural practices.
Apart from the advantages of tourism, the industry has presented several challenges to the nation. Just like any industry, tourism has its cons that need to be addressed by the stakeholders. One of the negative impacts of tourism includes culture erosion. According to the research studies by Spencer (2019), Bahamas has embraced the American culture as a result of tourism. Consequently, most of its traditional and cultural values have faded off as a result of transculturation. Americanization of the Bahamas culture has promoted the nation to lose its identity. Although culture transfer may be beneficial, research by Sealey & Logan (2019) indicates that most of the practices which have been transferred to the country are negative. Traditionally, the country embraced the collectivist culture that valued community initiatives. The marriage institution was highly respected, and the divorce rates were low. However, as the nation embraced the foreign culture, it has adopted the individualistic values of the Americans. According to the report by Sealey & Logan (2019), “It has often been said that Bahamians have become too Americanized and have lost their identities as they try to become the tourists (actors/actresses, singers, rappers, etc.) they see and admire who come to the Bahamas often” . The country’s music industry is adversely affected by tourism. Most of the Bahamians prefer listening to American music, thereby demoralizing its artists. The country music industry has significantly depreciated due to the adoption of the American Rapp and R&B compositions. Thus, although tourism boosts the economy, it has adverse impacts on the nation’s values.
Tourism has affected the Bahamian’s way of life. For instance, their dress codes have significantly changed to incorporate American fashion. Traditionally, the Bahamians dressed modestly like other collectivists. However, tourism has prompted the youths to expose their nudity. According to the report by Sealey & Logan (2019), “If you ever see a young Bahamian with his pants hanging low down on his hips, with a cap on his head that still has the tag on it, this was not traditional Bahamian dress.” Also, the high boosts which are popularly worn by the Bahamians were copied from the westerners. The adoption of western dress code in the Bahamas has raised criticism over the tourism industry.
Transculturation in the country has led to the transfer of unacceptable liberal practices in the country such as same-gender marriages, crime, and immorality. Crime rates, human sex trafficking, and premarital sex have become prevalent in the country due to tourism. According to the report by Sealey & Logan (2019), “The crime rate escalates as the persons in the densely populated areas desire to climb out of these areas and obtain the lifestyles of the tourists who look prosperous and the “other” Bahamians who are enjoying the good life”. Moreover, tourism has caused rural-urban migration which strains the social amenities in town. Population shifts have precipitated overcrowding at Nassau Island. Pollution in this town has increased due to traffic congestion. Urbanization has also increased crime in populated cities. The social amenities such as water, electricity, and food in the urban areas are strained due to overcrowding in cities.
Tourism in the country has caused imbalanced funding. The government has concentrated its resources on tourism while neglecting other economic sectors. Thus, those people from rural areas are disadvantaged as they do not benefit from the governments’ projects (Carroll & Brown, 2017). The industry has also precipitated foreign poaching. Foreign capitalists own the hotels, amusement parks, and recreational centers. Thus, the natives earn little benefits while foreign investors reserve significant profits.
Most people believe that they can readily acquire wealth and get rich when they travel to urban centers. According to the report by Palmer (1994), “American Dream influences a majority of the Bahamians.” However, when they travel to the cities, they encounter challenges such as high costs of living, unemployment, and lack of housing. Although the tourism industry has employed a significant number of citizens, about 12.33 percent of the public was unemployed by 2017 (Global Economy, 2018). The nation’s economy cannot absorb all people who are seeking employment. Lack of jobs in the urban areas, as well as high living costs, prompt the youth to join gang groups and also engage in illegal means of earning a living. According to the research by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), tourism has precipitated social evil such as prostitution in the cities. Some of the perverted tourists take advantage of the poor citizens to exploit them sexually. Some of the unemployed youths are also lured to engage in human sex trafficking in urban areas to earn a living. Urbanization has led to increased social pandemics such as the spread of HIV/AIDs.
Tourism has also significantly contributed to environmental degradation in Bahamas. The tourists litter the destinations which they visit, thereby polluting the environment. The carrying capacities of some of the tourist destinations are overstretched. Congestion in tourist attraction centers adversely affects the natural phenomena (Carroll & Brown, 2017). For instance, the vegetation is destroyed and the air quality reduced. Tourism also causes cause pollution especially during parties in the country. Tourism has also led to increased demand for hospitality services such as hotels, amusement parks, gyms, clubs, and other recreational facilities (Carroll & Brown, 2017). The construction of these service industries adversely affects the environment as the vegetation cover is cleared before construction. The service industries also generate wastes that further pollute the environment.
Traffic congestion in towns as a result of tourism and rural to urban migration has also caused other social challenges in the country. The report by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017) indicates that traffic congestion increases fuel consumption. Moreover, it causes delays in the movement of human resources. The delays have adverse impacts on the economy as crucial deadlines are extended. Also, as fuel consumption is increased, the country’s carbon footprint rises. The pollution levels in the urban areas are high as a result if traffic congestion. The increased traffic in the coastal regions damages some of the tourist attraction features such as the coral reefs. Also, most of the employments which are created by the tourism industry are low-level such as restaurant service. Thus, the Bahamas public does not obtain competitive industrial skills which are needed in the international market. Therefore, in case the tourism industry collapses, then the employees become redundant and cannot be employed in other industrial sectors.
The government uses a wide range of techniques to promote tourism in the country. One of the primary methods includes advertising the country’s tourists’ attraction sites. The Bahamas extensively advertises its tourists’ destination sites such as the treasure cay, Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Exuma Cays Land Sea Park, Harbor Island, Grand Bahamas, Andros Island, Elbow Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Bimini, and the Long Island (Spencer, 2019). Extensive promotion of these tourist attraction sites prompts a wide range of tourists from North America to visit the country. Also, the government takes advantage of its climate, location, proximity to developed countries, modern hotels and financial service industry to promote tourism. The country enjoys the tropical savanna climate that draws the visitors. The minister for tourism is responsible for initiating the marketing strategies in the country. A significant proportion of tourists in the country are pilgrims. According to the report by Sealey & Logan (2019), 70 percent of the guests who travel to the country are stopover visitors. Thus, the government develops strategies to leverage on the cruising guests to maximize the industry’s revenues.
The Bahamas’ tropical savannah climate is favorable for tourism is it does not experience winter. The low altitude results in warm temperatures throughout the year. The country does not experience snowfalls and the lowest temperatures that were ever located in the state were 10 degrees Celsius. The temperature variation between the hottest and coolest moth is about 7 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature of 10 degree was only experienced for a few hours. Thus, the favorable climatic conditions in the country are one of the significant factors that attract tourism in the country. The Bahamas is primarily dry throughout the year. It experiences over three-thousand hours of sunlight annually. Although hurricanes and storms are occasionally experienced in the nation, their impacts are insignificant.
The Bahamas has developed diplomatic relationships with other Caribbean states. Moreover, it has bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom and the United States. The government utilizes the good relationship to promote tourism activities in their country. For instance, the nation is represented in the US by an ambassador. The ambassador portrays a positive image of the country and encourages investors as well as tourists to visit the country. Since the country was colonized by Britain, it has a good relationship with the country. Consequently, it is represented by an ambassador in London. The Bahamas government receives a wide range of tourists across the globe. Thus, its strategic bilateral relationship with other nations works to the nation’s advantage.
The Bahamian government has employed aggressive strategies for promoting tourism in the nation as it is their source of livelihood. These strategies encourage tourists to prefer the country over other places. Some of the techniques used by the tourism stakeholders to boost the industry include the application of Blogger Trip, websites, social media, online transactions, and advanced search engine optimization (Sealey & Logan 2019). These strategies have enabled the country to attract millions of tourists who have significantly transformed the nation.
The Bahamas has several online bloggers who specialize in promoting their country’s tourism activities. The bloggers depict the beautiful sceneries which are appealing to both the young and old visitors. According to the report by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), “By hosting bloggers in your country, you can have them promote your tourism industry on the internet with articles and hash tags on social media.” Therefore, the Bahamas takes advantage of online bloggers to market the country. Most tourists learn about the attractive features in the Bahamas through the blogs. Thus, the government should continue investing in bloggers to enhance growth and economic development.
The Bahamas has a modern website that extensively depicts the nation’s beautiful sceneries. The sites are updated and illustrate the measures that the government has undertaken to boost tourism in the country. According to Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), “People want to see high-quality photographs with detailed descriptions and cost breakdowns before they decide on where they want to travel.” The websites are professionally designed to capture prospective tourists’ attention.
The development of social media has extensively enabled the nation to promote its tourism activities. The ministry of tourism is responsible for enhancing the country’s social media presence. According to the report by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), a significant number of contemporary consumers use social media to acquire updated information. Thus, tourism can be significantly promoted through social media. Most people spent a considerable proportion of their time on their social media account. Therefore, businesses should stop relying on conventional mass media to promote their products and services. By using social media, the Bahamas meets a broader audience. For instance, Facebook alone has over 2 billion active monthly subscribers (Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, 2017). The users are spread across the world but are interconnected through the social platform. Increased social media presence allows the tourism stakeholders to respond to questions raised by prospective visitors. Moreover, the use of social media promotion is affordable and allows the nation to retain a significant proportion of the accrued revenues.
The Bahamas is one of the countries that have embraced online transactions. Given that most of the tourists in the country are foreigners, online booking of hotels as well as payments is enabled to facilitate the transactions. Use of electronic commerce has allowed the country to market its industry and also encourage prospective tourists to travel to the state. By advertising the services as well as costs, prospects can plan themselves through utilizing the online payment systems. Online transactions have several benefits compared to the conventional method (Sealey, & Logan, 2019). First, it eliminates physical queues in the hotels and also reduces service times. The clients can check the available rooms in the hotel and book the facility before traveling to the country. The system also reduces the clients’ transactional costs by minimizing traveling. Online booking has enabled the country to attract a significant number of tourists.
The Bahamas uses higher ranking search engines like Google to enhance its online presence and also attract traffic. Search engine optimization enables online users to access the country’s tourist attraction features easily. According to the report by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), “You may have the best looking site with all amenities, but if traffic is not coming your way, it will be useless.” Thus, the use of high ranking search engines allows the country’s tourism ministry to maintain a competitive edge in the global industry.
The Bahamas has a robust tourism marketing plan that it uses to predict the industry growth, challenges, benefits, and risks. The ministry of tourism is responsible for developing policies that would optimize growth and reduce the adverse impacts on the environment. According to the report by Rodriguez (2019) on “Tourism Marketing,” “Without a plan in place you’ll have a difficult time achieving your goals; have a hard time keeping track of what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and if it's even effective!” The Bahamas utilizes its plan to ensure that the actual execution coincides with the desired milestones. The marketing plan enables the country to map its steps and optimize the country’s potential.
The Bahamas depend on online influencers to promote its hospitality industry. Most of the online influencers such as YouTube bloggers have a considerable following. The government has partnered with bloggers, journalists, photographers, and marketers to promote the country’s tourism activities. Also, the ministry of tourism has published a wide range of travel guides that are used to inform the guests about different tourists’ destinations in the country. The guides have drawn millions of stopover visitors in the nation. Facebook discussion forums have also been developed to further publicize the tourism features in the country. According to the report by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), most tourists acknowledge receiving information from the social media account. Therefore, discussion forums help in creating public awareness and also collecting feedback from the prospective guests.
The hospitality industry in the Bahamas attracts a wide range of visitors due to the flexibility in the offered services. The country has multinational hotels which provide services that meet the consumers’ needs. Quality and affordable services are used to attract economic consumers who are price-sensitive. The hotels’ architecture and decors are uniquely designed using contemporary features. The rooms had expansive sliding windows that allow natural light to enter the building. Consequently, the victors enjoy the beautiful external environment even from the comfort of their hotel rooms.
The social media campaigns and promotions which are used by the country to promote tourism targets both families and couples. For instance, sandy beaches serve as relaxing points for couples and even families. The hospitality services are flexible and allow visitors to travel with their families during vacations. Family suites exist to meet the tourists’ needs. There are specific locations such as clubs and bars which are exclusive for adults. Such destinations are suitable for adult couples who desire foreign adventure.
The Bahamas is politically stable and, therefore attracts tourists across the globe. The stable government promotes tourism by encouraging foreign investors to set up hotels and recreational amenities in the nation. The country has an excellent bilateral relationship with its neighbors. Thus, it has a favorable political atmosphere that boosts tourism in the government. According to the studies by Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, (2017), politics has a significant impact on tourism activities. Nations which are not politically stable discourage tourism. The Bahamas has maintained a politically stable government that ensures that the tourists are secure in the country.
The Bahamas has a strong economy with a high population of middle-class consumers. Moreover, it is surrounded by developed countries such as Canada and the US. Thus, the tourism industry has a ready market as the consumer potential is high. The inflation rate in the country is 2.5, and the country’s population that is living below the poverty line is 14.2 percent. The Bahamas has a gross domestic product of $11.04 billion with 90.8 percent of the laborers employed in the service industry. By 2009, the country had 184,000 workers. Fifty percent of the laborers were employed in the tourism industry. Other than tourism, there are other service and manufacturing enterprises in the country such as transshipment, pharmaceuticals, and cement manufacturing. In 2017, the country’s total exports were worth 41.316 billion. The primary export products included rum, chemicals, mineral products, chemicals, salt, and animal products (Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, 2017). Although the Bahamas is one of the smallest countries in North America, it has a stable economy and a vibrant tourism industry that attracts investors. However, since the nation has less than 400,000 people, it has a low GDP. Therefore, some of the investors may not be willing to invest their project in the country.
The other significant challenge in the country’s economy includes overreliance on tourism. The tourism sector has employed over fifty percent of the laborers. Other services offered in the firm contribute a smaller percentage to the country’s economy. Overreliance on one economic sector is risky as it may adversely affect the government's operations in case the industry fails. The Bahamas is a rapidly developing country but lacks sufficient manufacturing industries that may boost the economy. Thus, the country imports virtually all consumer products in the country. In 2017, the Bahamas imported goods worth $9.097 billion and exports were worth only $1.316 billion (Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, 2017). The data shows a trade deficit of $7.781 billion. Some of the imported products include minerals, foodstuffs, manufactured items, and transport equipment. Therefore, the country’s economy is uncertain and may present significant challenges to the tourism industry in the future. Thus, the government must initiate measures to increase productivity and also diversify the economy.
Bahamians have adopted the liberal culture which enhances their interactions with the foreign tourists. Transculturation sets a suitable social environment for tourism activities in the country. The firms that have invested in the tourism industry engage in corporate social responsibilities that have improved their working environment. One of the social initiatives that the hospitality firms have adopted includes employing the local community members. By creating employment the hospitality and tourism firms improve the residents’ living standards and also prevent crime. Moreover, the firms engage in different philanthropic activities such as giving scholarships to disadvantaged students. Also, some of the organizations participate in community initiatives to develop a good working relationship. The Bahamians have also embraced the tourism culture by tolerating foreign practices (Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, 2017). Tourists feel free to exude their native cultures in the country. Given that the public is culturally sensitive to the visitors’ needs, the country has a competitive edge and is likely to draw more tourists.
The country leverages the existing technology to promote its tourism industry. For instance, the state uses social media to promote its tourism activities. Electronic commerce is used in the service industries to facilitate hotel booking. The modern technological advancements present a favorable external environment that boosts tourism in the country. The country uses influencers and social media marketing to expand its tourism market share (Haas, Fedler, & Brooks, 2017). Use of technology enhances the country’s advertisement and promotional strategies. Improvements in the transport network have also facilitated tourism in the country. The Bahamas has a developed road, railway, water, and air transport system which enables the guests to move from one location to the other. Efficient transportation allows tourists to visit multiple destinations in a single day. As tourists visit several destinations, the government generates more revenues.
Tourism is the primary economic activity in the Bahamas which has employed a significant number of people. The industry has transformed the country’s economy and stabilized its currency against the US dollar. Moreover, tourism has improved the standards of living and also boosted other related service industries such as banking, agriculture, and manufacturing. However, the sector presents several challenges such as rural-urban migration and strained social amenities. Moreover, citizens have transformed their cultural values as a result of tourism. Rural to urban migration has strained the existing facilities such as water, electricity, and houses in the urban areas. Consequently, the slums and poor neighborhoods have cropped up in towns to accommodate public needs. Immorality has also increased as the Bahamians copy the tourists’ behaviors. Consequently, antisocial behaviors such as human sex trafficking and drug abuse have increased in the country. The government has developed marketing strategic plans to maximize the benefits of tourism and minimize its adverse impacts. Some of the marketing strategies that the government has instituted to boost tourism include search engine optimization, electronic commerce, social media marketing, and the use of blogger trips and influencers.
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