Bahamas First In-Person Activity – A Resounding Success!

PLANTATION, Florida - Scores of private pilots from throughout the U.S. who attended the 47th Annual Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, April 13-18, stopped by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation  (BMOTA) booth, eager to get information about The Bahamas, the region’s top destination in general aviation.  Some of them had already begun preparations to fly out to The Bahamas, following the conclusion of Sun ‘n Fun on April 19, 2021.

The event marked the first in-person trade activity attended by the BMOTA sales and marketing team, since the novel coronavirus pandemic began.  All team members adhered to strict CDC safety guidelines during the show and have since tested negative for Covid-19.

A limited 300 exhibitors participated in the show, where The Bahamas was the premier destination featured.  

While organizers of Sun ‘n Fun had expected this year’s show to be less busy than previous shows, due to the pandemic, the reverse occurred.  In fact, according to John ‘Lites’  Leenhouts, CEO of Sun ‘n Fun, “This year’s show sold 1.45 million tickets, up by 30% more than the show’s best year of 1.1 million in ticket sales.”

The uptick in business activity and interest was evident for The Islands of The Bahamas, which experienced non-stop brisk business activity at its booth, throughout the show.   

“Pilots were eager and happy to see us and learn about our country’s reopening, travel protocols and latest product offerings, especially in our Family Islands.   By Friday morning (April 16), which is traditionally the show’s second busiest day, next to Saturday, we had already run out of our Bahamas Pilot Guide, a technical booklet we give only to pilots, who have either already planned a trip to The Bahamas or commit to do so,” said Greg Rolle, Senior Director of Verticals Markets, BMOTA.

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Throughout the show, executives of the BMOTA participated in numerous radio broadcasts on 1510 AM, flight line broadcasts and two television shows with Florida Aviation Network.  

Joining representatives from the BMOTA at the show were Linda Mackey, Bahamas Consul General, Miami Office; Nathan Butler, Bahamas Customs; Andy Ingraham, Bahamas Global Pre-Clear Program and The Bahamas’ Fixed Based Operators (FBO) Banyan Air and Sheltair, who promoted The Bahamas’ pre-clearance service, which is expected to open soon at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE).  The new service will allow private pilots to pre-clear Bahamas Customs and Immigration at FXE, without further formalities in The Bahamas, and fly directly into any island in The Bahamas, thereby giving them more time to vacation in The Bahamas.

With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.