D’Aguilar a no-show at Adventure of the Seas ceremony
Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar ducked Adventure of the Seas’ home-porting inauguration on Saturday despite this being the first cruise ship to set sail in Bahamian waters since the covid-19 pandemic shut down the cruise industry more than 15 months ago.
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, Attorney General Carl Bethel, Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell, Minister of Immigration Elsworth Johnson and Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrulu were all front and center for the big event at Pompey Square but D’Aguilar was nowhere to be seen.
Due to D’Aguilar’s absence, Jibrulu had to introduce the prime minister at the major event.
His absence was glaringly obvious at the ceremony and plaque presentation, which marked the biggest event for the Bahamas’ tourism industry since the country’s borders reopened last year.
There were murmurings among those in attendance that nothing should’ve stopped the minister of tourism from missing an event of this magnitude, which will have a large impact on his ministry.
“Cruising is an essential economic driver for our small country,” Minnis said during the opening.
“In 2019, we welcomed a record-breaking 5.4 million visitors arriving by cruise.
“The shutdown of the cruise industry contributed to a significant reduction in our tourism business.
“We are grateful to have Adventure of the
Seas homeport in Nassau and visit three additional islands in The Bahamas over the seven night itinerary,” Minnis added.
Apparently, his minister of tourism didn’t get the memo about how big a deal it is as he chose not to attend.
Though Minnis likes to brag about introducing new faces to politics, senior public servants in attendance questioned whether a more experienced and qualified minister would’ve made such a rookie mistake.