NASSAU, The Bahamas — In a move to have Bahamians buy into the importance of tourism to the economy, the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation (MOTIA) officially launched its “Tourism is Everybody’s Business” domestic campaign.

With statistics of historic tourism arrivals, a video of local faces, and beautiful scenery, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper officially launched the campaign during a press conference on Monday, February 26, 2024 at the ministry’s offices.

He noted that on the tourism front, Bahamians have much to be proud of.

Over the last six decades, The Bahamas has developed its tourism reputation as a leading global destination. Moreover, tourism employs 60 percent and accounts for 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

“It has significantly contributed to raising the standards of living of generations of Bahamians and continues to provide opportunities for thousands of Bahamians,” DPM Cooper said.

In 2023, the country made history in tourism, closing out the year with a record-breaking 9.65 million visitors.  And, prospects for 2024 indicate that the momentum will continue.

He also revealed that in January, occupancy at the major large hotels in New Providence and Paradise Island showed great performance, with a hotel occupancy rate of 76.8 percent in the first month of 2024, up from January 2023.

For January 2024, the momentum for arrivals has continued with arrivals for the month up by 13.3%, overall. Additionally, air arrivals to Nassau/Paradise Island were up by 8.1 percent in January 2024 with overall Air Arrivals up 6.4% compared to 2023, and overall seat capacity is up with several new additional airlift expansions in the pipeline.

“So, you can see we have much to protect.  Tourism positively impacts every single person in The Bahamas.  And Tourism is indeed Everybody’s Business,” the minister said.

He then added, “And the time has come for a re-awakening of national pride in our number one industry, an enterprise which we as a nation have built with our very own hands.”

Also, involved in this campaign are local media personalities and influencers who will take the message beyond these shores.

The message that will be conveyed to the nation over the next year is straightforward:

•Tourism is of paramount importance to the economy.

• We are the custodians of a beautiful country that is annually sought after by millions, a country that we must grow in appreciation for and be proud of.

• Tourism is Everybody’s Business.

• In alignment with our country’s logo, “It’s Better in The Bahamas”, we must each commit to doing our part to make our country a better place.

Over the next few weeks, the Ministry of Tourism Officials will be featured guests on all the major radio shows and will make special appearances on local television.  There will also be TV and newspaper ads with tourism messages on social media, and additional billboards advertising the campaign.

“We’ll also be having a stakeholders meeting for taxi drivers and vendors on New Providence and then throughout the various islands,” DPM Cooper said.

He noted that one of the strongest selling points of this destination is the multiplicity of islands.

Tourism officials market The Bahamas as a 16-island destination, under the signature brand ‘The Islands of The Bahamas’ through which the distinctiveness of each island, and what it has to offer is promoted.  The campaign will also focus on this.

Influencers will make appearances on radio shows to engage the public to travel to upcoming events on Exuma for the Bahamian Music & Heritage Festival set for 15-16 March, and to Long Island, for the Mutton Festival, 21–24 March.

The ministry will also be taking the tourism message to students as well; the Industry Training Department will be launching a program to re-educate students on the importance of tourism.

 “A key priority of this government is to increase Bahamian ownership of the tourism economy.  The Tourism Development Corporation is dedicated to this mandate,” he said.

Tourism will also engage stakeholders from across the industry including Taxi Drivers, Tour Operators, Straw Vendors, Hair Braiders and Retailers to hear their concerns and their suggestions for the way forward.


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