There are a number of new tourism marketing campaigns that may be hitting international airwaves soon as officials at the Ministry of Tourism are working to release new commercials.
According to Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, officials have been working on several new ideas to promote The Bahamas and ultimately attract new business from markets like Asia, Europe and Latin America.
“They are working on some commercials now. I haven’t looked at them yet, but I know that they have been working on some commercials,” Minister Wilchcombe told Journal Business.
The minister said that he was particularly excited because there have been little or no marketing efforts done for quite some time.
He added that was partly due to the Ingraham administration’s decision to introduce the companion fly-free programme.
“We spent a lot of money focusing on the companion fly free programme, which has caused a lot of money from the Ministry of Tourism because we were in fact paying for that and assisting in the companion fly-free programme is still a cost to the airlines,” Minister Wilchcombe said.
“It has worked, but I think that the ministry and the hoteliers have had to do it given the circumstances. But it took away from the marketing and all of the other efforts that we have had to make.”
When asked if the Christie administration might cancel the programme, Minister Wilchcombe indicated that the idea is not “totally off the table.”
“We have not made the definitive decision yet,” he said. “But we have to look at it and determine whether or not we are getting value for money. How long we can sustain it and how much it hurts our market. We have to look at it and we have to create a balance.”
He continued, “Before we go into something else we want to make sure that we don’t hurt ourselves by just chopping off everything. We want to gradually sway into where we want to be.”
In the meantime, Minister Wilchcombe said officials are looking to create a market for all of the major Family Islands.
“We have always referred to the capital but each island should be sustainable and each island should have a plan in place for its island development,” he said.
“It must allow for the airlift to be had and so therefore we must cause some things to happen. And so we are looking at the islands as well. The entire effort is to ensure that the Ministry of Tourism will lay out a plan for the country. That will show us over the next 12 months how we will be able to note the progress we are making.”