Categorized | Business, National News

MOT Sets Sights On Middle East, Russia, And Emerging Markets

London, England: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is looking to the Middle East as it seeks to diversify its markets and attract more visitors to The Islands of The Bahamas.

According to tourism Deputy Director Tommy Thompson, senior tourism executives held several discussions with tour operators from that region during World Travel Market (WTM) in London.

“We haven’t sealed the deal yet, but we have taken the first steps to establish programs in the Middle East,” Thompson revealed.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure that The Bahamas has sources of markets year round. Different markets travel at different times, and we want to be sure that we are present in that market [Middle East] when people are making their travel decisions so that The Bahamas is top of mind.”

That market is still untapped with only a small percentage of total visitors traveling to The Bahamas from the Middle East.

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe recently mentioned the possibility of partnering with Emirates Airlines – the largest airline in the Middle East – that carries more than 40 thousand passengers a year.

Thompson added that the Middle East is not the only emerging market BMOT has set its sights on. During WTM the tourism team also established relationships with new tour operators from India, China, and Russia.

“The US market will always be the number one market for us, but we need to ensure that we have a constant source of business all year round,” the deputy director general said.

Director of Europe, Anthony Stuart says Russia is high on the ministry’s list of emerging markets, as the number of visitors from that country continues to see growth each year.

“We’re looking at what we have to do to prepare ourselves for that market. We’re asking the questions: Do we have the product that Russian travelers look for? How do we improve our product for travelers from that market?,” Stuart said.
In 2013, 1,958 visitors traveled to The Bahamas from Russia, and that number is expected to be even higher at the end of this year.

World Travel Market was a success, according to tourism officials, who are now focused on building on the new relationships established in London.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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