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Published on : Wednesday, February 24, 2016
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Office in Washington DC is participating in a number of travel shows in hopes of attracting thousands of potential visitors to The Bahamas.
During the 12th annual Travel Adventure Show held at the Walter E. Convention Center on December 19-21, officials of BMOT’s Washington D.C office displayed a dynamic booth with information about the Islands of The Bahamas.
The show was one of the biggest travel shows in the US with destinations from all over the world participating.Officials also sought to promote Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival by hiring Bahamians living in the Washington area to model costumes donated by Bahamas Masqueraders. Area Manager at BMOT’s Washington DC Gabrielle Archer said why it was important to participate in the show. “It’s a place where persons travel to attend seminars geared at planning their next getaway. They can also sample cuisines from around the world and get information from travel experts,” she said.
“The interest in our booth has been amazing. People are coming to the booth and finding out that The Bahamas is more than just Nassau. The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival models have attracted a lot of persons and so far it has been great. “We’re participating in these shows to get the word out about The Bahamas and to reengage our tour operators and other partners and to get people to come to the Islands of The Bahamas.”
Marketing Representative in the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Washington D.C office Vandia Sands said the event was the perfect opportunity to promote Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. “We reached out to local models who are Bahamians and they did a fantastic job. They drew a lot of attention to our booth and even more attention than the other travel destinations,” she said.
“Vacation Express is doing a giveaway, which we will present. A part of the competition was to sign up and we asked if you were interested in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and the majority of the people clicked ‘yes’. They were really excited after they saw the models and a lot of people said they wanted to go to Grand Bahama and Nassau to participate in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.” Senior Business Development Manager Donell Watson-Dean said beyond the travel shows, the Ministry of Tourism has been working extensively with Washington-based tour operators.
“One of our main objectives is to engage with local travel agents and operators and working closely with them. We are also active in different organizations that we could network with and re-establish the brand. We also work with hotel and airline operators,” she said. “We work with Fortune 500 companies and their employees to try to generate business. We want to generate a lot of group business and so our objective is two-fold – the consumer and our partners. The Bahamas is an easy sell.”
Bahamas Consulate General Paulette Zonicle came to the event to extend support to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. “This show puts us on the world stage and gives us maximum exposure. Our country is such a beautiful place and we have so much to offer and when we look at all the other countries, we come out miles ahead,” she said.
“We are so happy and honoured to have the Ministry of Tourism office in Washington D.C. and we are doing great work. People are interested in The Bahamas and they love The Bahamas. In this area, they have liquid cash to spend and we are helping them to spend it in our country.”
Ms. Zonicle said the Bahamas Consulate Office will continue to work with the Ministry of Tourism to garner interest in The Bahamas. “Our independence celebrations is coming up and we are hoping to do a parade to the streets of Washington DC so that people will be able to see our Junkanoo costumes, Rake n’ Scrape and experience our culture,” she said.
On February 21, a number of American journalists were also treated to special media dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House to learn more about The Bahamas.
They were able to learn about some of the islands and airlines that assist in getting there.
A number of airlines are providing a number of non-stop flights from the Washington DC area to Nassau. JetBlue is now offering once daily non-stops from Nassau to Washington DC and from Washington DC to Nassau up to May 3. After that time, Jet Blue will offer connecting flights from Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando to Nassau.
There are also non-stop Southwest flights from Baltimore to Nassau.
Meanwhile, officials are planning to participate in a number of other travel shows in the Florida, Philadelphia and Los Angeles areas among others.