Date of Conferral







Lisa Barrow


AbstractIn The Bahamas, the hotel sector imports the majority of its goods and services, rather than buying goods and services from local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at levels that support tourism SMEs sustainability and growth. Termed an economic leakage hotel reliance on imports has negative effects on the development of tourism-related SMEs in Nassau and Paradise Island in The Bahamas. The purpose of this study was to explore and examine why high tourism economic leakages exist between the tourism hotel sector and other sectors in The Bahamas. To address this problem, this case study used a qualitative method approach utilizing primarily the Pro-Poor Tourism conceptual framework. Twelve in-depth interviews provided participants’ representing varied components of the tourism hotel sector including SMEs that support the tourism sector were interviewed for this study. Using a computer assisted qualitative software; Atlas.ti8 was used to aid with the data management and analysis process. Four themes emerged from the interviews and help to summarize the contributing factors to the leakage between the hotel sector and tourism SMEs. The themes were as follows; (a) contributors to tourism leakages, (b) current linkage strategies and perceived linkage obstacles, (c) tourism SMEs development and support, and (d) a sense of Bahamian pride to produce Bahamian goods and services. The results of this study suggested that the entire tourism community make the commitment to support the development of tourism linkages in a new way; and as a result the development of tourism SMEs, and watch the socio-economic benefits that these bring i.e. entrepreneurship, job creation, and an improved quality of life for Bahamian citizens.