Tourism planners at work to build on success of 2018

Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D'Aguilar (far right); Director-General of Tourism, Mrs. Joy Jibrilu (centre), and Deputy Director-General of Tourism Mr. Tommy Thompson, showcase banners detailing the Ministry of Tourism’s marketing strategy of promoting The Bahamas as a sixteen-island destination. Officials say the strategy is yielding the desired results of creating a distinct brand identity for individual islands of the Family Islands of The Bahamas. The resulting impact has been a “whopping” twenty per cent increase in visitor arrivals to the Family Islands between January and August of 2018 when compared to the same time period last year. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Tourism planners and strategists at The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and Aviation have already planned ahead to ensure that they build upon the successes of the 2018 tourism season next year.

“We look forward to building upon the success and tourism growth from 2018 as we forge ahead with exciting new programmes, partnerships and initiatives planned for the year ahead,” said Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar.

“We are supporting and encouraging the development of new resorts throughout our islands that appeal to millennials and their desire for authentic experiences on vacation, and which appeal to consumers of all ages with particular passions and lifestyles.”

The tourism minister was addressing members of the media following his year-end report held last Friday in the conference room of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation headquarters.

In Nassau, D’Aguilar said revitalization of the historic architecture downtown, along with new dining and entertainment options are continuing in this district.

“The past year has been a big one for Baha Mar. The resort has brought new life and new visitors to Cable Beach in Nassau,” he said.

Development in Nassau continues as the $120 million ‘The Pointe’ mixed-use project rises on the beach next to the British Colonial Hilton; the Margaritaville brand will be developing the adjacent property.

“In Freeport, the government and Ministry of Tourism are focusing new efforts on the re-branding and revitalization of the island’s tourism. The government recently purchased the Grand Lucayan resort with the intention of securing its future return to the local economy.

“Across our Family Islands we continue to see new boutique properties and eco-friendly resorts on Harbour Island, Eleuthera and Exuma that provide visitors, particularly millennials, with options that match their lifestyles. And, we eagerly await the development of a new, five-star resort eco-resort planned for Long Island.”

Minister D’Aguilar said tourism planners and strategists will continue to work to reach millennials as well as repeat visitors seeking authentic vacation experiences and the natural beauty of all of the Islands of The Bahamas through strategic partnerships and promotions, media relations and attractive programmes for travelers.

“Our priority will be in continuing to position The Islands of The Bahamas as a premiere travel destination, evolving our branding to appeal to new visitors and promoting the distinct offerings across each of our unique islands.”

Minister D’Aguilar said the Ministry of Tourism employed a robust marketing programme that communicated the superior, unfiltered Bahamas experience to “our target audience” of Curious for More travelers using a mix of tactics and channels.

He said desk-side Editor briefings and Mix and Mingle events in key markets from New York City to Atlanta to South Florida have also been a valuable tool in developing media relationships, providing new development updates and in encouraging future feature stories.

“The relationships developed have paid dividends over time,” Mr. D’Aguilar said. “We have taken part in media blitzes in New York, Toronto and most recently, in China.”

This article was contributed by Matt Maura – BIS