This past June, the International Travel Partners Conference 2018
was held on Nassau, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Through increased and strategic marketing set forth by the Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, the Bahamas has become the “new pace setter” of the Caribbean. The NPIPB announced that it has seen an 18% surge in stopover visitors in the first quarter of 2018, effectively “the fastest rate of growth of the region.” The goal for 2018-2019 is to remain on this track with the expectation of reaching their goal of 300,000 incremental visitors. To achieve this goal, they plan to promote the core tourism motivators of the region to beach lovers, casino goers, as well as wedding and honeymooners. They also seek to reach new visitors to the region and attract return visitors by driving home the message of the re-birth of “The New Nassau Paradise Island” with the revelation that this is not the same Bahamas of 20 years ago.
Part of the appeal of this destination, as cited by Fred Lounsberry, NPIPB Chief Executive Officer is, “The Bahamas is an easy destination to get to from the US. Many airlines are planning, or have already increased service to the Bahamas, with American adding non-stop Chicago flights starting in December 2018. Delta is expected to add a second New York, JFK flight 6 times per week starting in October 2018. Other airlines such as Southwest and United have followed suit with increased service.”
The NPIPB attributes some of the recent growth to the newly developed Pointe Development Project. Phase 1 opened in October 2016, and includes an 800-space parking garage and entertainment center. Phase 2, currently under construction, will include One Particular Harbor, a 100-room, eight-story oceanfront condominium complex, Margaritaville Beach Resort, a 45 slip marina, eight restaurants/bars, and a 24,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Overall, the project is expected to create 500 jobs, as well as contribute $750 million to the Bahamian GPD over 20 years.
The Bahamas may be famous for its warm sun, gorgeous beaches and turquoise blue water, but it doesn’t end there! The Bahamas offer attractions that appeal to a diverse group of travelers. It is rich in history and culture, and offers accommodations to fit every style; from ultra luxury, to resorts with endless active experiences, to family-oriented all inclusives.
History and Culture
A visit to the Bahamas Historical Society is a must-do for those travelers interested in Bahamian history. The museum contains a sizeable collection of historic documents, artifacts, photos and more, highlighting current, past, and present events. Another must-see is the Balcony House, which is hard to miss with its bright pink exterior. Visitors can explore rooms filled with elegant period furniture, unique antiques and heirlooms. One of the Bahamas’ most popular cultural events is the annual Junkaroo Summer Festival. Enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, it is a total Bahamian experience, all rolled into one event. The festival features live music, exhilarating Junkanoo performances by dancers wearing bright Caribbean colors, crafts, cultural games and competitions, all topped off with culinary demonstrations and scrumptious authentic Bahamian food and drinks. Did someone say rum and conch?
Activities & Accommodation
The list of land, sea, and cuisine related activities and tours for visitors to explore is endless. In addition, a world of water activities awaits, from Atlantis Yacht & Fishing Charters to learning how to dive and snorkel. Take a dip in the ocean with the famous Bahamas’ swimming pigs, and be sure to save time to visit the Caribbean’s largest marine habitat and waterscape at Atlantis Paradise Island.
If taking an island tour is more your pace, you will find a gamut of them to excite all of your senses. Become a winemaker for the day at Bahama Barrels, located at the Graycliff Hotel (www.graycliff.com) in downtown Nassau and create your own unique bottle of wine as part of a wine blending class. While there, be sure to also book a tour of Graycliff’s Chocolatier factory to find the perfect pairing of chocolate to go with your wine! Other types of excursions available include a vast array of food tours and cooking classes, as well as eco-tours. If you’re looking for kid-friendly tours, make sure to check out Ardastra Gardens & Zoo, and Pirates of Nassau – both a must for the kids!
In Nassau Paradise Island, there are many lodging options, sure to fit anyone’s style. One of the newest resorts, opened earlier this year, is SLS BahaMar (https://slshotels.com/bahamar). The SLS offers world class dining and exciting nightlife with its sleek bars and casinos, combined with first-class amenities. The SLS joins its sister properties; Grand Hyatt Baha Mar and Rosewood Baha Mar.
When thinking of the Bahamas Paradise Islands, the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort (www.atlantisbahamas.com) is often first in mind, and with good reason. When Atlantis first opened 25 years ago, there were only two resorts on its sprawling property; that number has now surged to six! The property features the world’s largest open air marine habitat. At Aquaventure, a 141-acre water park, experience thrilling water slides, a rapid river tubing ride, and a snorkeling lagoon. Atlantis’ world-class and best known exhibit, Dolphin Cay, is where visitors can swim and play along with dolphins and visit sea lions.Atlantis is truly a vacation within a vacation.
Whether you are heading to the Caribbean for an event, a vacation or even business… it’s better in the Bahamas! For more information, visit www.nassauparadiseisland.com