The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation hosted a staggering four group familiarization trips from August 2017 through the end of the calendar year, bringing nearly 20 reporters and social influencers to discover the unfiltered, authentic experiences found throughout the Islands Of The Bahamas.

The trips helped to drive immediate social buzz that The Bahamas remained open for business this fall, as well as garner positive coverage of the destination in print, online and on social media in the critical travel-booking season.

“There’s so much to explore in The Bahamas, with new developments and iconic favorite activities across more than a dozen islands.” said Mrs. Joy Jibrilu, Director General at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “Hosting influential media and social storytellers is one of the best ways we can share our story with potential travelers planning their next vacation. The coverage we receive from these visits is incredibly in-depth, and speaks to all the reasons why ‘it’s better in The Bahamas.”

In November, the BMOTA hosted three group trips to The Bahamas. The first was a trip in partnership with leading outdoor retailer Columbia Sportswear to Andros, with three top U.S. fishing media in attendance - Florida Sportsman, Saltwater Sportsman and New England Fishing, reaching the highly important U.S. fishing and boating enthusiast. Stories highlighting Andros as the premier destination for bonefish will be published in spring 2018, as a result of the trip. The editors experienced fly-fishing on the flats while outfitted in Columbia Performance Fishing Gear, and captured the experience in high-resolution photos and videos, including drone footage. Beyond the planned editorial coverage, the visuals and film from the trip was shared in real-time with Columbia’s robust following of sports and outdoor enthusiasts on social media.

Three top-tier travel influencers from San Francisco to New York visited The Exumas to discover why the country is the no. 1 destination in the world for #nofilter posts. They experienced unique wildlife and real Bahamian food and culture on a long-weekend escape. The itinerary focused on the Out Islands’ laid-back luxury, outdoor and culinary offerings, with a focus on highly Instagrammable and share-worthy activities – from swimming pigs to island hopping. Influencers were carefully selected to share The Bahamas #nofilter messaging with their combined 380,000 followers, engaging the next generation of Bahamas vacationers. The influencers’ social media engagement rates rose well above the industry standards due to stunning, unfiltered photography, inspiring followers to want to learn more about traveling to The Bahamas.

The Ministry helped launched Bahamasair’s new nonstop service from Houston to Nassau by hosting a media and influencer familiarization trip with two Houston-area media and two social influencers on the inaugural service. The trip featured the popular People-to-People experience, Junkanoo celebrations and a look at the new hotel developments on Nassau, resulting in feature stories in Houstonia magazine and CultureMap Houston, as well as social coverage from local influencers touting the new service. Along with a feature story secured in the Houston Chronicle, the combined launch efforts resulted in more than 36 million impressions.

In December, the BMOTA sent five journalists from major outlets in the U.S. and Canada to experience a finely curated trip to discover “What’s New in The Bahamas” in Nassau and Harbour Island. Outlets included Canadian design magazine NUVO, Toronto Sun daily newspaper, as well as U.S. reporters from, and The trip resulted in immediate social and online coverage from and reaching 12.6 million consumers, with additional feature stories slated to publish in the first quarter of 2018, reaching a mix of millennial and luxury travelers.

The 2017 visiting journalist program was an unqualified success, with an additional slate of three individualized trips that took place on a rolling basis between the group trips. Reporters for The Telegraph, The Boston Globe and Family Vacation Critic visited the destination and covered new developments and distinctive experiences across several islands.