Categorized | National News

Bahamas Going After “Sleeping” Markets

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe has big plans to wake up the country’s number one industry, which he claims was sleeping for the past five years and missing out on tapping into multibillion dollar markets.

Minister Wilchcombe suggested that the country has lost its stronghold as a top player in the tourism industry, with stiff competition from other countries in the region.

“We used to be number one, we were the first in and now we have dropped, we are no longer number one,” Minister Wilchcombe said.

“We used to be leading in every area and now we’re not leading in every area, we’re leading in perhaps in one right now – cruise arrivals.”

In the area of weddings and honeymoons, Minister Wilchcombe called it “unacceptable” that with all The Bahamas has to offer, it is not even in the top 10 of the $13 billion market.

“We intend to get that market back, there is no question about it. Last week we had members of the Ministry of Tourism meeting with magazines, talking to them about what we have to do because we have to go after it.”

The tourism minister also said the ministry also intends to launch an aggressive campaign to attract groups in the the religious, sports and African American markets.

Religious tourism is estimated to be a $113 billion industry, with more than 300,000 religious related organisations in the United States alone.

The African American market is worth almost $800 billion.

Minister Wilchcombe insists The Bahamas has been missing out on tapping into these major markets.

“That is why when you get to the slow months of the year like September, October, November you don’t have any business, because for some reason or the other those who were in charge decided they weren’t going to focus on groups any more. They shut down the groups office.”

“Groups are still travelling and they are travelling in large numbers.”

Minister Wilchcombe also revealed that major announcements will be made in the coming weeks with regards religious and African American tourism.

Sports Tourism is another market the government intends to launch fully into.

The tourism minister projected some $13 million worth of sporting events over the next several months.

He said he intends to rekindle those relationships formed with some major sporting teams, under the former Christie administration.

“We knew full well that that industry [sports] is more than $300 billion. We know you haven’t seen any kind of recession when it comes to professional sports.”

In fact, Minister Wilchcombe revealed that one of the major sporting organisations in the United States will be coming to The Bahamas next year for a superstars event.

He said the Ministry of Tourism intends to go after the markets in a way it’s never done so before.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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