City Nation Place Award for Best Citizen Engagement Award

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) and its People-to-People Programme have been honoured with the top spot in the Best Citizen Engagement category at the ninth annual City Nation Place Awards in London on Thursday, 8 November 2023.

Recognized by City Nation Place for its dedication to involving local citizens in tourism, BMOTIA’s nationwide initiative, the People-to-People Experience, has been operating in The Islands of The Bahamas for nearly 50 years, starting in 1975. The initiative, led by Bernadette
Bastian, General Manager of Family Island Development at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, is a complimentary visitor programme that connects inquisitive travellers with Bahamian ambassadors, providing a local guide to the islands. The experience
offers an authentic and informal glimpse into Bahamian hospitality and culture, akin to visiting a friend, providing a genuine experience of island life.

Evaluated by a panel of respected professionals from global tourism organisations, BMOTIA was commended for its efforts in providing immersive cultural experiences for visitors.

Latia Duncombe, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, commented, “This achievement is truly extraordinary for our People-to-People Programme, our dedicated team and the entire Bahamian community, especially as we approach the
momentous 50th anniversary of the People-to-People Experience.”

“What began as a means for locals to connect with our visitors has grown into a distinguished initiative with a half-century legacy,” continued Duncombe. “Over 400 Bahamian citizens have wholeheartedly embraced the program; their willingness to open their homes and lives to visitors is invaluable, offering an authentic showcase of our culture, heritage and landscape to hundreds of guests each year.”

The City Nation Place Awards, established in 2015, aims to benchmark and acknowledge global contributors in the placemaking sector, highlighting the best strategies for growing and managing the reputation of destinations, ranging from towns to cities, regions to countries.
To learn more about the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation’s People-to- People Experience, please visit:


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