MOTA appoints 14 diving, boating ambassadors

MOTA appoints 14 diving, boating ambassadors
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism logo

Goodwill ambassadors are influential experts expected to help promote The Bahamas to the world

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, deputy director general, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA), announced today the “historic appointments” of 14 new diving and boating ambassadors for the islands of The Bahamas.

There were 10 diving ambassadors and four boating ambassadors chosen.

“The hand-selected professionals are influential experts in scuba diving, boating, travel, underwater photography, media relations and marketing, and they all share a deep affinity for The Bahamas,” the ministry said in a statement.

Ellison “Tommy” Thompson

Thompson added, “This is a very special appointment for us. It signals our dual belief and commitment to sharing, positioning, protecting, preserving and promoting our country’s beautiful environment and natural resources, which for us, are our pristine, crystal-clear waters, rich marine life and people.

“Traditionally, the marketing and promotions of The Bahamas to the world come primarily from the BMOTA team, who seek to reach, engage and inspire visitors to book a vacation stay with us. However, in a post-COVID-19 era, we have been met with some setbacks, challenges, opportunities and new ways of conducting business, like this Ambassadorship Program.

“The power of unbiased influence that many of these leading industry experts and goodwill ambassadors possess, in the respective residential markets they serve, is unquestionably substantial and invaluable to us.”

The ministry’s statement noted the selected ambassadors “are all unpaid volunteers and skilled boating and diving experts who have led many groups to The Bahamas, share a deep love for the destination and are committed to further promoting The Bahamas to the media and to their circle of influence to garner further exposure and bookings to the destination”.

“They will work with the ministry’s communications and vertical teams to further position the country as the ideal dive and boating destination,” it read. “The selected ambassadors will also undergo full training in the destination and its offerings before representing The Bahamas at dive tradeshows and FAM trips.”

Thompson noted: “Astronauts recently captured the waters of The Bahamas from outer space, and declared it to be the prettiest place on earth. Now, the world will also know of its astonishing underwater beauty, through these appointments and the works of these ambassadors.”

The 10 diving ambassadors are: David Benz, director of Media Group — PADI; Stephen Frink, publisher of Diver Alert Network; Adam Hanlon, a professional underwater photographer and owner of Wetpixel, a resource center for underwater images; Cristian Dimitrius, an award-winning cinematographer and underwater photographer; Richard Smith, a PADI master scuba instructor, Midwest diving specialist and owner of MDS Scuba Travel; Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown, PADI and SSI master instructors and award-winning authors and photojournalists; Abigail Mullens, a PADI dive instructor and professional underwater photographer; Jeanne Cinquegrana, a certified SSI and PADI dive instructor and travel expert at OTA Diving Travel; and Morad Hassan, a travel expert who owns two dive shops and is an instructor who trains scuba instructors.

The four boating ambassadors are: Isaac Burgos, a residential developer who has conducted many boating flings to The Bahamas over the past decade; Sean Ives, who has been running charter yachts and private boats to The Bahamas for 20 years; Karl Hill, a frequent visitor who brings 40-plus boats and scores of people to the Annual Bimini Blast; and Shaughn Miller, a boat captain who is also a professional underwater photographer and videographer.