Canadian Woman Becomes “Tourism Ambassador”
Has Visited The Bahamas For Nearly 40 Years
Millions of people travel all over the world looking for a place to fall in love with. This was no issue for Canadian visitor Shirley Bond who fell head over heels in love with The Islands Of The Bahamas nearly 40 years ago. After close to four decades of visiting The Bahamas, Ms. Bond has been bestowed with the prestigious title of “Tourism Ambassador” for the destination.
For Ms. Bond, her love affair with The Bahamas began when she was just 16- years-old.
She said what she loves most about The Bahamas is its people.
“I started to go to Freeport and I really, really love the people,” Ms. Bond said. “So, I decided to continue coming. I started flying as a flight attendant 30 years ago and I started coming to Nassau and the people are incredible. They are very kind and I always felt safe here.”
“I also enjoy the ocean. It’s so blue and I love the Fish Fry – it’s one of my favorite little places to go. There are so many things you can do here. I went to swim with the dolphins and I went to concerts. I think the music is amazing. I love rake n’ scrape. People are so talented and I really, really love it.”
And she doesn’t travel to The Bahamas alone. Ms. Bond has visited Freeport, Nassau, Eleuthera and Abaco with her son Jamal, who has been to The Bahamas over the last 28 years.
She also hopes to visit the Exumas in the near future.
Ms. Bond is so smitten with The Islands Of The Bahamas she has written a book named Up In The Air with Bananas: A Guide To Traveling, which is about safety on an airplane and features a monkey traveling to The Bahamas.
“I am hoping in the future, within the next year I will be doing just Bahamas and taking the monkey throughout the islands and make it a really wonderful book for tourism,” she said.
She said The Islands Of The Bahamas is a recommendation she makes to anyone looking for a vacation.
“I’m always putting it on Facebook. I always tell my family, my friends to come here and when I do flights I write down what to see and do because it truly is a wonderful place,” Ms. Bond said.
Jamal Bond says the future for him is to continue coming to The Bahamas.
“Every time I’ve come here I have met someone new and they continue to be in life. I love the water. The weather is amazing here. You never have any bad days. Every time I walk down the street everyone says hello and it’s positive,” he said.
“My future kids will definitely come and hopefully, I will have a nice villa here.”
All this gushing about The Bahamas is music to the ears of Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar.
On an official visit to the Ministry recently, the mother and son duo received a certificate commemorating their years of visits, a basket full of authentically Bahamian gifts and a fruit cake. The day prior to the presentation by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, the Bonds were treated to a day at Blue Lagoon Island and a Bahamian lunch.
Minister D’Aguilar said visitors like the Bonds should be celebrated.
“We have to make you ambassadors because you have touched on all of the points of why it is so amazing to holiday here,” he told the pair. “We in The Bahamas deeply appreciate you because our economy is deeply dependent on tourism, so stories such as yours make my job easier and it is wonderful.”