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Sysco Bahamas in the Agri-Tourism Discussion

The Graduate Studies & Research department of the University of The Bahamas has collaborated with the Tourism Development Corporation to discuss sustainable Tourism in The Bahamas, via a series of online webinars using Zoom and YouTube. A select group of individuals puts their minds together and talk about

A very pertinent discussion is on the future of Agri-Tourism, finding ways to reduce our reliance on imported foods and make Agriculture a viable industry for Bahamians. Don Carnine, President of Sysco Bahamas Food Services is a panelist in a discussion entitled Untapped Potential – Capitalizing on Agri-Tourism in a Post Covid-19 Era.

Sysco Bahamas is the largest private buyer of local produce in the country, distributing quality fruits, vegetables and herbs to kitchens all around The Bahamas. Any market gaps are filled by Sysco’s solid relationships with purveyors of only the finest quality produce from around the world, imported and maintained in world-class facilities then shipped with care to the customer. Tourism is the bread and butter of the Bahamas’ economy, with Sysco Bahamas servicing the vast majority of hotels, resorts, restaurants, caterers, private yachts and chefs on most islands. Agriculture is an important industry, and Sysco Bahamas has joined the discussion on how to utilise our need for food while simultaneously enhancing our Tourism product.

Effectively channeling Agri-Tourism can sustain another type of responsible tourism product for the nation that helps to reduce our over-dependence on imported food, estimated in excess of $550 million annually. This vital linkage can provide more tangible incentives to make Agriculture even more attractive to more Bahamians. Understanding the local food sources and the culture associated with food is important for the 21st century. In order to capitalise on Agri-Tourism, advancing food security is the way forward for The Bahamas.
Sysco Bahamas in the Agri-Tourism Discussion
Untapped Potential - Capitalizing on Agri-Tourism in a Post Covid-19 Era
Meeting  28th May 2020, 12-1:30PM via Zoom Meeting.

Speakers include:

  • Don Carnine, President of Sysco Bahamas Food Services
  • Andrew Pinder, Assistant Director in the Bahamas Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources
  • Shacara O. Lightbourne, Acting Country Representative, Technical Specialist at the Inter-American Institute for the Corporation on Agriculture (IICA)
  • Mark Humes, Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural Health and Food Safety Authority (BAHFSA) and the Member of Parliament for the Fort Charlotte constituency in Nassau

Moderated by: 

Dr. Vikneswaran Nair, the Dean of Graduate Studies & Research and also a Professor of Sustainable Tourism at the University of The Bahamas,

Janet Johnson, the CEO and Executive Director of the Tourism Development Corporation.

ub webinar
What is Agri-Tourism? Wikipedia Definition

Agritourism is a form of niche tourism that is considered a growth industry in many parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, the United States and the Philippines.

Agritourism or agrotourism, as it is defined most broadly, involves any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to a farm or ranch. Agritourism has different definitions in different parts of the world, and sometimes refers specifically to farm stays, as in Italy. Elsewhere, agritourism includes a wide variety of activities, including buying produce direct from a farm stand, navigating a corn maze, slopping hogs, picking fruit, feeding animals, or staying at a bed and breakfast (B&B) on a farm. Agritourism activities fall within at least one of the five categories of agritourism, and they may span multiple categories. The five categories are:

  • Direct-to-consumer sales (e.g., farmstands, u-pick)
  • Agricultural education (e.g., school visits to a farm)
  • Hospitality (overnight farm stays)
  • Recreation (e.g., hunting, horseback riding)
  • Entertainment (e.g., hayrides, harvest dinners)


Agri-Tourism is a relatively new concept that offers excitement to Agriculture, while adding depth to the the Tourism product. Find out more on the subject by checking out these links.


The Caribbean Agro-Economic Society hosts an annual West Indies Agricultural Economic Conference, where the primary discussion is how to increase agricultural production in the region. Regional experts and representative share ideas on how to increase production while also growing agriculture into a financially attractive industry that boosts local economies. At the 28th edition of the conference,  a study was released by Neela Badrie and Erecia Hepburn entitled “Agri-Tourism: A Modern Development in Bahamian Agriculture“. This gold mine of researched information ultimately determined that it was indeed feasible for The Bahamas to have a viable Agri-Tourism industry.




May 2020

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