Tourism revival depends on COVID messaging

Tourism revival depends on COVID messaging
Popular beach bar Tony Macaroni's

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas must actively demonstrate that it is taking steps to protect not only its visitors but also its citizens as it seeks to revive the tourism sector amid the COVID-19 fall-out.

Kerry Fountain, the Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board’s (BOIPB) executive director said: “Our message is going to be not just that it’s better in the Bahama but it is better int the Bahamas and here is what we have done to keep you safe.”

“I think it boils down to us being able to test quickly, how readily available are the tests, and what are the protocols that we have in place.

“Right now most of the hotels are closed and rightly so. In terms of when they are going to reopen, no one really knows. The most important asset we have to protect in this country is our people. As much as we want business to reopen this is not a simple issue,” said Fountain.

Fountain noted a late reopening of the tourism sector would be in the hurricane season.

“One of the challenges that we will have is that even if business starts in June it’s going to be a short season. Around the end of August and early September a lot of the hotels on the islands are closed and we would be in the hurricane season.”

Still, in terms of target market, Fountain said: “I know one target market that will need a break. Every health-care worker is going to need a break after this. These are the kind of things that we are looking at.”

Fountain noted that hotels must “take a serious look in the mirror”, and assess where their business is being generated from and where they are generating the most leads.

He noted that resorts will not see high room occupancy rates for some time and will have to find ways to maximize revenue with limited business.

Fountain added that resorts could partner with other local entities to offer attractive packages and provide more value to their offerings.