Bahamas Eyes India

Country Is A Main Sought After For Tourist Dollars

Come next month the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism plans to head to India in hopes of garnering more interest and business for The Bahamas.

 Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said recently that tourism officials have already done the groundwork during a Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) trade show in Dubai.

 She added that from that conference, officials reported that many Indians were interested in getting married in The Bahamas.

 “I am advised that Indians spend a fortune on their weddings. They spare no expense and particularly they have a growing middle class and everyone wants to do something new. So we know that the opportunity exists for us to get into this market,” Ms. Jibrilu said.

 “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning a trade show to India next month and the Ministry of Tourism has been invited to go along with them and that is to explore this further.”

 The director general said officials are hoping to make it easier for Indians to travel to The Bahamas.

 “There is a visa requirement for Indians coming to The Bahamas. And so as we worked with China and did the visa waiver, we are looking to see what we can do to ease travel for Indians who wish to travel to The Bahamas,”Ms. Jibrilu said.

 “We are a destination that they are interested in and they are excited to travel to and so we just have to capitalize upon it.”

 Meanwhile, Ms. Jibrilu said the Ministry of Tourism is also continuing to strengthen ties with Latin America.

 “The Latin American market has the potential to be a huge source market for tourism for The Bahamas. Everyone is talking about the BRIC countries that include – Brazil, Russia, India and China. We can’t just rest on our laurels. We have to seize the moment. In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), we have come up with some research and research shows there is huge interest from Brazil to come to The Bahamas,” she said.

 “We are viewed as a sexy destination. In fact, when they talked about the whole region, Jamaica has been viewed as a place for culture and there was some hesitancy about visiting there. When asked about The Bahamas – everyone wants to visit there.

 “So we have a Latin American unit, a director of Latin America working with tour operators and others in the Latin American market. All of this is possible through our relationship with Copa Airlines and airlift coming out of Latin America. But we are working beyond that. We are working to see how we can have direct airlift – Brazil, Mexico and Columbia.”        

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