Over 250 competitors from 30-plus countries traveled to The Bahamas for the 2019 World Beauty Fitness and Fashion (WBFF) Worlds, held at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort on Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10.
The show had both professional and amateur competitors who came very prepared to take home the hardware. A few of the amateurs left The Bahamas as professionals.
Paul Dillett, a former professional bodybuilder, founded the WBFF back in 2007. He was impressed with the event.
“For me, I always say that anything and everything that is within my control, I was very happy with. The production was absolutely incredible. The organizing of the event was amazing. The contestants were incredible. We had over 30 different countries that came to participate and we had over 250 contestants on stage,” Dillett said.
He added: “So far, all the feedback has been positive. They love The Bahamas, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar resort, they thought it was absolutely beautiful. They thought it was an amazing location for such an event like the one we just had. There are a lot of them that are still here up to Monday and will be here for a couple more days vacationing.”
The women competed in the Pro Diva Bikini Model, Pro Diva Fitness Model, Pro Figure Model, Amateur Diva Bikini Model, Amateur Diva Fitness Model, Amateur Figure Model, Commercial Model and Transformation Division categories.
The men battled in the Pro Male Fitness Model, Pro Male Muscle Model, Amateur Male Fitness Model and Pro Male Muscle Model categories.
Contestants came from Australia, Brazil, Spain, India, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, Bolivia, New Zealand and Mexico.
According to Dillett, the event usually attracts 400 to 500 participants. If they decide to have it in The Bahamas again next year, they are looking to take that number up to 350 participants.
Dillett said, “The Bahamas is a beautiful destination for tourists, so it is always very advantageous and attractive for people to want to come to The Bahamas, that is one of the reasons we decided to have it here in The Bahamas. This event usually gets anywhere to 400 to 500 participants from around the world. It was at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada, last year. We are hoping to – if we decide a second year – to go from 250 to 350 and within three years we will be right where we are, around 450 to 500 contestants. It will be a huge impact on heads in beds as they say here. We are doing it at a time of the year when it is a slower period in the month of August.”
Jeff Rodgers, senior manager for sports tourism in the Ministry of Tourism, spoke highly of the event.
“I am just happy to have been able to work along with WBFF event that took place last weekend. It was an event that the Ministry of Tourism supports 100 percent. We believe that it was very successful and anything to do with hotel rooms that is what makes it successful for us. The production and all the contestants were very high-end. To see so many people from around the world was really good,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers is looking forward to The Bahamas hosting more events like this or even bigger.
“This is what it is about. A greater part of my responsibility in the Ministry of Tourism is to go out and find initiatives that are going to attract groups – what we call heads in beds. This is a perfect example to bring an international event to The Bahamas that never took place outside of the United States, Canada and Europe and to see so many persons travel is what tourism is all about. We have a number of other initiatives on the table. Myself and the minister have a series of meetings in Washington to talk about bringing some other events. The WBFF is another event that we look forward to coming back next year. Everyone enjoyed their stay here in The Bahamas. It was an amazing experience for those persons who came and I am happy that the minister was able to see the vision to give the green light to participate in this initiative,” Rodgers said.
Diliett thanked the Ministry of Tourism for what they have done. He added that they needed the ministry’s support to make the event possible.
Last year the WBFF Worlds were held at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the first time the event was held outside the United States, Canada and Europe.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism