NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas ministry of tourism and aviation has been hosting a series of virtual sales missions in the US and Canada during the entire time of quarantine in an effort to continue promoting The Islands Of The Bahamas and keeping the destination top-of-mind for not only the travel trade but other business partners and suppliers.
Without the ability to host face-to-face interactions to which the sales teams were accustomed, the ministry of tourism quickly pivoted to launching and participating in online events such as webinars, virtual travel shows, virtual trip simulations and live social media sessions.
As part of a strategic effort to share openly about The Bahamas’ road to recovery, the BMOT brought together all of its international partners in the US and Canada for two days of virtual meetings hosted by director general, Joy Jibrilu. These meetings were widely welcomed by the partners as anticipation grew for the return to ‘new normal’ business.
“While grappling with the effects of COVID-19, all travel was put on hold,” said director general Jibrilu, “but we remained committed to providing our travel suppliers, travel agent communities, key meeting planners and destination wedding planners, flying ambassadors, boating community and all of our other business partners with the resources and information they needed to assure new and returning guests, we would be ready once the world was ready to travel again. Now, more than ever, we need to show our partners just how important they are since we will be calling upon them to help bring tourists back to our shores, the moment it is safe to do so.”
The sessions received rave reviews and a number of our partners followed up with notes of thanks to the team for being accessible and transparent in the face of incredible circumstances. Bob Duglin,vice president of the International Membership & Host Agencies for the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), a leading global advocacy group for the travel trade industry said. “It was very uplifting to hear from director general Joy Jibrilu that The Islands Of The Bahamas will be safely opening soon to travelers from North America; getting to The Bahamas is so easy with nonstop flights from the US – people can get from their home to the beach in a matter of hours.”
Others like Elvi Cal, vice president product development, travel brands, Canada said “Thanks so much for extending the invitation to today’s presentation. Joy did a great job in explaining the BTO’s plans and the different phases of reopening. Thrilled to see BTO very proactive and already thinking of marketing this fall.”
The ‘next normal’ as everyone is coining this moment in time has accelerated the ministry’s efforts in further developing and leveraging digital resources and platforms that help to reach and engage its target audiences. Many advances have been made already and the global teams are especially proud of those resources that allow the destination to export product immersive experiences and deepen customer engagement virtually.