NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe said the Ministry is launching new initiatives to boost the country’s tourism product.
During an interview at the grand opening of The Cove, Eleuthera, Friday, March 1, 2013, Minister Wilchcombe explained that the Ministry of Tourism will unveil on March 21, a digital platform that will allow potential tourists to make various bookings at one site and explore the islands of The Bahamas.
“The digital platform provides a booking solution. The problem we have in The Bahamas is that people do not have an appreciation that we are more than just a capital city; and we must also remember that The Bahamas almost became Atlantis.
“So The Bahamas will now have a digital platform where you will be able to search our islands, search for the hotel you want, search for the airlift you want to get to the islands, search for rental vehicles, or whatever else you want to do. It is all free, none of the islands have to pay for it; none of the hotels have to pay for it; it is being done by the Ministry of Tourism,” Minister Wilchcombe said.
“It is a way to get people to discover the islands and get them here in the quickest possible way,” he added.
Furthermore, the Tourism Minister said Ministry officials will attend various trade shows and travel to countries around the world promoting the tourism products the country has to offer.
“You know 10 or 15 years ago,” he said, “you might have focused on Nassau and maybe Grand Bahama, but look what is happening here.”
“I am told that now in Eleuthera, there is a new construction boom-taking place particularly in the Governor’s Harbour area where there is second home ownership.
“So it tells you that something special is taking place now and I think it is because the world’s economy is turning around, but it means that we have to get the message out, because why go to some of the islands in the Caribbean when you can come to The Bahamas and discover all that you want, and feel the Caribbean right here in The Bahamas?”
He said Ministry officials will travel to Brazil at the end of April for the first ever World Tourism Council Meeting where about 100 to 150 buyers and persons interested in what is happening in the tourism markets of the world will be represented.
“The Bahamas is right now set to become one of the most exciting tourism destinations, because we are renewing our product at the right time. Visitors will be able to go to Nassau for the glitz and the glamour and that is Baha Mar, Atlantis and others; and then they come to the Family Islands for something more intimate and get to enjoy the island flavour.”
“So there is so much we have to offer and we are very excited about what we have to do.”
The Tourism Minister also noted that the Ministry will be promoting domestic tourism as well, with special focus on the smaller islands. He said while there are resorts on those islands, they want to create more activities so that they attract more Bahamian visitors.
He said the Ministry is receiving requests for additional airlift. “Obviously you have to get people here and with the Lynden Pindling International Airport now in the final stages of reconstruction, you are going to see us cause a hub to be developed on the capital and the linkages, so you come to the capital and you can get to the islands.”