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News : Ministry of Tourism Updates Last Updated: Dec 13, 2018 - 3:32:12 PM

The Bahamas ‘People-to-People Experience’ A Hit with Florida Travel Agents
By Jeanne Gibson
Dec 13, 2018 - 12:58:08 PM

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Photo: Kemuel Stubbs

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Authentic Bahamian cultural activities, including the Changing of the Guard at Government House and the country’s

‘People-to-People Experience,’ were a big hit for a recent group of Florida travel agents who visited Nassau for a Familiarization trip.

The group included travel agents from the Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando areas, all of whom had been exposed to The Bahamas product through a Seminar or presentation during the year. 

The Familiarization trip served as the Bahamas Tourist Office sales team’s second phase of a Florida Travel Agent Engagement Program.

Bahamas Tourist Office, Florida’s District Manager, Tina Lee, shared that the purpose of the two-pronged program included, “strengthening and deepening relationships with the agents and then exposing them to The Bahamas.”

Photo: Kemuel Stubbs

“I’m having a blast,” Kat Simpson said at the poolside of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Pauline Lightbourne, as she enjoyed the ‘People-to- People” experience.  Based in the Northern Florida area, and a big seller of The Bahamas product, Mrs. Simpson credited her success in selling The Bahamas to the fact that “The Bahamas is so close to Florida, it makes it so affordable.” 

Ms. Simpson described the country’s long standing ‘People-to-People Experience’ as amazing and said that she had not heard about the program before but was happy about the opportunity to be exposed to it because it provided her with “an authentic slice of Island life.”  She also noted that a lot of Americans are now into “experiential” travel and that “The ‘People-to-People Experience’ provides the opportunity to really and truly experience The Bahamas.”

Bonnie Wagner of Elite Travel Concierge said that she also sells a lot of The Bahamas product.  She raved over the ‘People-to-People Experience’ and said, “I have a lot of people that would be interested in getting an intimate feel of the Island, its local people and how they live.”

Photo: Kemuel Stubbs

Mr. Henry Lightbourne, who with his wife hosted the group at his home, shared that he loves to help visitors to get to know The Bahamas better.  He said that his philosophy is “If you want to know my culture, come to my house and eat my food.”

The food that the visitors enjoyed during their visit with the Lightbournes included a smorgasbord of native Bahamian dishes and delicacies including Bahamian Ginger lemonade and the local Sands Beer; cracked lobster, grouper fingers, Bahamian macaroni and cheese and garden salad with papaya topped off by delicious Dilly Cake, Bennie Cake, Guava Cake and Coconut Tart.

The group’s accommodations were at the Baha Mar Grand Hyatt, Cable Beach and the Warwick Paradise Island. The Familiarization also included a tour and meals at various hotel resorts in Nassau, Bahamas.

The Bahamas Tourist Office sales team led the group’s visit.  Members of the sales team included District Manager, Lee; Sr. Marketing Representatives, Adrian Kemp and Phylia Shivers and Sales Coordinator, Elke Pettiford.

For more information on The Bahamas, visit us at www.bahamas.com.

Florida Travel Agents outside of Baha Mar's Grand Hyatt Resort where they were hosted one night of the Familiarization trip

Tantalizing display of Bahamian Food at People-to-People for Florida Agents

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