GBI Inaugural People-to-People Tea Party

On Thursday, February 28th, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s (MOTA) People-to-People Department held its first Bahamian Tea Party on Grand Bahama Island.

The event, which was an ode to the vibrant orange colour on the Grand Bahama Island logo, featured all things orange, local folk dances, musical entertainment, fashion shows, storytelling, and several samples of authentic Bahamian teas.

With many visitors and People-to-People ambassadors in attendance, the tea party served as a traditional method to bring various cultures together in one unique setting.


Bernadette Bastian, Sr. Manager, People-to-People, MOTA, said, “I was happy that the Grand Bahama People-to-People team decided to implement the [idea of the] themed tea party.

“We’d like for it to spread throughout the islands where visitors that are coming to the different islands have the opportunity to be able to participate in these experiences... when they’re unable to take advantage of the hosting experience.”


As a means to educate visitors on colonial history throughout the islands of The Bahamas, the tea party highlighted aspects of British culture which were retained after independence.

In order to ensure that those in attendance were also aware of traditional Bahamian customs, a bush tea specialist, also known as Mr. Bush Tea (Fenrick Russell), was invited to speak about the historic use of bush teas for medicinal purposes.


With local designers and vendors being given an additional platform to sell and showcase their work the event had positive feedback from many of the guests. Antoinette Neely, Manager, People-to-People, MOTA, Grand Bahama Island, said, “My first People-to-People Event, I think it was fantastic. I got feedback from others who attended and expressed warmth, and enjoyment and would like to do it again. I appreciate those who helped and especially the Director of Tourism Ms. Karen Seymour and my immediate Supervisor Ms. Renamae Symonette for their support.”


The tea party was hosted at Magistrate Rengin Johnson’s beachside home and is expected to be a recurring experience on the MOTA GBI calendar of events.

If anyone is interested in promoting The Bahamas and becoming a People-to-People ambassador, please contact Antoinette Neely at or the Ministry of Tourism at 350-8600.