Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be here. And it is an honour to reflect on what these past twenty-five years have afforded The Bahamas.

When the Atlantis Royal Towers officially opened in December 1998, it was an inspiring and glamorous occasion. Bahamians enjoyed new opportunities, celebrities flocked to our shores to share in the excitement, and the Atlantis brand paved the way for what would be a new era for tourism in The Bahamas.

If there were any doubts before, this new development – which was the region’s largest hospitality property at the time – signalled to the world that we were establishing ourselves as a global tourism mecca.

Paradise Island itself was completely transformed as businesses and real estate developments sprouted up to take advantage of the increased volume of visitors on the island. 

The nation was transformed, too.

Many local and international journalists called the opening of the Royal Towers a tourism renaissance, an exemplar of the region, a Bahamian dream. They spoke of increased visitor arrivals, rippling social impacts, and a roaring economy. And each of these things they spoke of in such grand language became our reality.

As we seek to diversify and innovate within the sector, I encourage the leadership team here at Atlantis to continue to embrace the unique beauty and strength of Bahamian culture. Continue to prioritise the protection of the beaches, coastline, and waters surrounding this island. And continue to to demonstrate your values as a responsible corporate citizen, giving generously in support of cultural, scientific, commercial, and community development. 

As my Administration revamps our national investment framework, the establishment of national corporate social responsibility standards will ensure that all investors must follow in Atlantis’s footsteps.

So, today’s luncheon is more than a celebration of an anniversary, it is also an acknowledgment of Atlantis’s continued role in nation-building.

As a fitting example of the culture of corporate social responsibility Atlantis has cultivated, several groups have come together at tonight’s event to raise $280,000, which will be donated to five local charities and cultural groups.

This is the kind of generosity and cooperation we need from our private sector leaders if we are to fully tap into our potential for excellence as a nation.

I commend Atlantis on leading this charge and I thank the Zamar Group, Sun Oil Limited, and Caribbean Bottling, as well as all other donors for their worthwhile contributions. 

It is my hope that these donations will catalyse new community programmes, social outreach initiatives, and positive outcomes within our communities.

Congratulations, once again, on the 25th Anniversary of the Royal Towers. May you see many more years of success.

Thank you.

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