USA Bahamas Tourist Office Sales Team Visits GBI

The Grand Bahama Tourist Office, in partnership with the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, recently hosted the USA Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) Senior Sales Team to a three-day familiarization trip of Grand Bahama Island.

Greg Rolle, Sr. Director, USA Sales, Sports and Marketing, BTO Plantation; Gabrielle Archer, Area Manager BTO Washington; Dupree Smith, District Sales Manager, BTO Houston; Sanique Culmer, Manager of Groups and Events MOT Grand Bahama Island; Prescott Young, Area Manager, BTO Los Angeles; PJ Douglas Sands, Senior Manager, BTO Houston; Phelan Ferguson, Senior Manager, BTO Plantation; Mikala Moss, Area Manager, BTO New York; Omar Isaacs, General Manager, BTO Plantation; Carmel Churchill, Director for Marketing Services, Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board

As a part of the team’s core focus coming on the heels of the CHTA Marketplace, Ministry of Tourism Area Managers from Plantation, FLA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Washington DC and New York, NY participated in extensive site inspections of hotel properties and attractions including, Bell Channel Inn, Island Seas Resort, Ocean Reef Resort, Castaways Resort & Suites, Flamingo Bay Hotel, Taino Beach Resort, Grand Lucayan’s Lighthouse Pointe, Pelican Bay Hotel, Old Bahama Bay Resort, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach and The Bahamian Brewery.

The team’s host hotel property was the newly renovated Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Resort. Members of the Resort’s executive team met with the sales team, hosting them to a welcome dinner at the Viva Café Restaurant.

Leading the team was Senior Director for US Sales, Sports and Marketing, Greg Rolle.

When asked about the mandate of the US BTO Sales team, he said, “Given the USA Sales and Marketing directives from the Hon. Minister Of Tourism, which is to re-connect and re-engage with the Travel Trade and Media, and to provide opportunities for The Bahamas to re-introduce the brand of The Bahamas into our target markets, it was critical that our USA Sales and Marketing Team got to know the product first hand on Grand Bahama, and to convey to all of Grand Bahama’s Industry partners, that their USA Sales and Marketing Team will carry their message to market as we continue to execute our strategies”.

Carmel Churchill, Director of Marketing Services with the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, shared that “The familiarization trip came at a time when the destination of Grand Bahama Island was in urgent need of the additional exposure to enlighten its consumers about the improvements to current hotel and attraction inventory, as well as to its rapidly expanding and diverse product offerings”.

Joy Jibrilu, Director General for the Ministry of Tourism, speaks of the destination of Grand Bahama as being, “one of our country's most exciting and adventurous destinations". She said, "The Island has so much to offer, especially with its myriad of eco-tourism attractions, its pristine beaches that go on for miles, world class resorts and great shopping".

Amidst the many concerns on the state of Grand Bahama Island’s tourism product, with the devastation left in the passage of Hurricane Matthew, Betty Bethel, Director for The Ministry of Tourism, Grand Bahama Island, advised that the positioning of the destination, which includes heightening sporting and soft adventure initiatives, to date, bodes well for the upcoming summer travel season.

She said that “Grand Bahama Island has developed a strong rapport with Sunwing Airlines and Vacation Express, which have for the past several years provided the destination with Summer and Winter non-stop service from key US and Canadian markets”.

With Vacation Express offering vacation packages from all US cities on most major airlines, visitors from any US gateway can travel to Grand Bahama Island year round, and take advantage of four-night or five-night departures with non-stop flights May through October of 2017.

Amanda Santana, V.P. Sales & Marketing, Viva Wyndham Fortuna; Phelan Ferguson, Senior Manager, BTO Plantation; PJ Douglas Sands, Senior Manager, BTO Houston; Gabrielle Archer, Area Manager, BTO Washington; Mikala Moss, Area Manager, BTO New York; Dupree Smith, District Sales Manager, BTO Houston; Betty Bethel, Director MOT Grand Bahama Island, Jose Blanco, Business Developer, Viva Wyndham Fortuna; Claudio Natella, General Manager, Viva Wyndham Fortuna; Prescott Young, Area Manager, BTO Los Angeles; Sanique Culmer, MOT Grand Bahama Island; Omar Isaacs, General Manager, BTO Plantation; Federico Vaccari, RM, Viva Wyndham Fortuna; Carmel Churchill, Director for Marketing Services, Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board; Gilda Noboa, Dr. Sales & Marketing USA & Canada, Viva Wyndham Fortuna; Greg Rolle, Sr. Director, USA Sales, Sports and Marketing, BTO Plantation

About The Islands Of The Bahamas

The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone, from Nassau and Paradise Island to Grand Bahama to The Abaco Islands, The Exuma Islands, Harbour Island, Long Island and others. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best golf, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with pre-clearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar at par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Grand Bahama Island

Full of history and charm, Grand Bahama Island is a complete vacation destination. Some of the island’s settlements, such as Pinder’s Point, Russell Town and William’s Town serve as cultural hot spots for visitors. And if you’re looking to tour some natural surroundings, feel free to explore the island’s three national parks, two of which are home to a large number of birds. For shopping, the Port Lucaya Marketplace and Marina features a collection of island-style buildings on the waterfront, and is filled with shops, restaurants and bars, as well as nightly live entertainment.

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