Largest trade show to come to The Bahamas?

Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism)

The Bahamas could one day be home to one of the world’s largest tourism trade shows, with Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar floating the idea of hosting such a convention now that hotel inventory has increased.

With the opening of Baha Mar, the Minister said the country is now more ready to take on hosting large trade fairs like the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) recently held in Berlin.

The ITB Berlin 2019 show recorded approximately 160,000 attendees – an indication that the business of tourism remained resilient and robust.

“I’m sure this type of gathering will only continue to grow … I was thinking wouldn’t it be wonderful to have this in Nassau,” he told the Caribbean Tourism Organization at ITB Berlin 2019.

“What do we have on our side [of the world]? We should do this and have it somewhere in the Caribbean and make money from it.

“The Bahamas is a wonderful place to visit and we have wonderfully huge hotels now and could accommodate something of this scale, maybe not at this size but close to it.”

D’Aguilar said he was continually thinking of ways to grow the number of foreign visitors to the country annually and was hoping Tourism’s new ad campaign featuring Lenny Kravitz and others would go a long way in positioning The Bahamas in the forefront of visitors’ minds for vacations.

While he felt the brand of The Bahamas still had the ability to attract lots of new visitors, D’Aguilar said the intent is to keep the Kravitz ads playing “as long as funds are there.”

“Every time you mention the word Bahamas almost anyone in the world goes ‘ooh’,” he explained.

“The brand conjures up in the mind of the traveller this beautiful place on everyone’s bucket list. It’s an easy sell but you have to keep touching the conscious of everyone who wants to go to The Bahamas.”

When asked if he was worried about the U.S.’ recent travel advisory to travellers to The Bahamas, the Minister said the country was even more of safe place this year than years before for tourists to visit.

“We are by far one of the safest destinations …crimes against foreign visitors are infinitesimal, not small – [but] infinitesimal,” he clarified.

“[There is] 0.0000717 per cent probability of you having a crime committed against you as a foreign visitor. We’ll just battle through it and try to change the perception of foreign visitors.”