Area Manager of Bahamas Tourism Office in Washington D.C Gabrielle Archer poses with Carnival models (Photo/Kendea Smith)
Philadelphia PA – Interest in Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is mounting as Ministry of Tourism officials headed to several cities throughout the US to promote the upcoming festival and The Islands of The Bahamas.
Over the past several weeks officials have been feverishly working in Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Houston and Los Angeles among others.
Their latest stop was the Philadelphia Travel Adventure Show on March 19-20, where hundreds of potential visitors came to plan their next vacation.
Area Manager in The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s Washington DC office Gabrielle Archer said the race is on to push potential visitors to The Bahamas.
“We are showcasing music, dance and the Islands of The Bahamas. We’ve participated in multiple travel adventure shows. We’re all about promoting The Islands of The Bahamas – the hotels and everything that we have to offer,” she said.
“We don’t just go anywhere. We look at the numbers and we make sure it is worth the trip. “
Ms. Archer said the Washington DC show had “huge” value as it drew hundreds of people interested in coming to The Bahamas to experience Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.
“Our phones have been ringing off the hook. People are inquiring about Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival. Some people are interested in coming this year and others want to know if this is an ongoing festival,” she said.
Carnival models local to the Philadelphia area were hired to model costumes sponsored by Bahamas Masqueraders.
The mother of Bahamian festivals – Junkanoo was also front and center at the event as a local Junkanoo group – ‘The Potcakes’ – rushed through the crowd at the Global Beats Stage.
Partnering with tourism officials was Vacation Express – one of the world’s largest travel agencies.
Manager at Vacation Express Lynn Maloney said the agency decided to tag along at the travel Adventure show to promote its non-stop charter service to the island of Grand Bahama.
“We have non-stop service from Philadelphia and Baltimore. The demand for Grand Bahama is great and we have a lot of customers and travel agents who have a lot of interest in going down to that area,” she said.
Throughout the day, potential tourists continued to visit The Bahamas’ dynamic booth
Amara Boyd of Philadelphia said she visited The Bahamas by cruise, but was excited to become a stopover visitor.
“My husband is actually a travel agent and is trying to book a family and we got a lot of information for that. I went to The Bahamas on a cruise I’m definitely looking forward to coming back to The Bahamas. The beach and the shopping was very nice,” she said.
Jim Leek, also from Philadelphia said he was impressed by The Bahamas’ booth.
“The booth was nice and warm and it gave me a lot of good information and offered a great package that was a great deal. I’m very interested in The Bahamas. You have beautiful ocean. You have that beautiful turquoise ocean. We don’t have that in New Jersey. The water looks scary. The Bahamas is the place for that,” he said.