The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) has continued to virtually sell The Bahamas during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, a press statement from the ministry noted, explaining that partners in the United States and Canada were engaged in meetings for two days.
According to the MOTA press statement the idea was to keep The Bahamas at the top of the minds of those in the nation’s top source markets.
MOTA Director General Joy Jibrilu said in the statement that it was important while travel was forced to stop because of COVID-19, that travel partners were kept informed.
“While grappling with the effects of COVID-19, all travel was put on hold,” said Jibrilu. “But, we remained committed to providing our travel suppliers, travel agent communities, key meeting planners and destination wedding planners, flying ambassadors, boating community and all of our other business partners with the resources and information they needed to assure new and returning guests we would be ready once the world was ready to travel again.
“Now, more than ever, we need to show our partners just how important they are since we will be calling upon them to help bring tourists back to our shores, the moment it is safe to do so.”
The MOTA stated it hosted webinars, virtual travel shows, virtual trip simulations and live social media sessions.
“These meetings were widely welcomed by the partners as anticipation grew for the return to ‘new normal’ business,” the MOTA statement noted.
“The sessions received rave reviews and a number of our partners followed up with notes of thanks to the team for being accessible and transparent in the face of incredible circumstances.”
According to the statement, Vice President of the International Membership and Host Agencies for the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) Bob Duglin said: “It was very uplifting to hear from Director General Joy Jibrilu that the islands of The Bahamas will be safely opening soon to travelers from North America; getting to The Bahamas is so easy with nonstop flights from the U.S. – people can get from their home to the beach in a matter of hours.”
Vice President of Product Development for Travel Brands Canada Elvi Cal said: “Thanks so much for extending the invitation to today’s presentation. Joy did a great job in explaining the Bahamas tourism office’s (BTO) plans and the different phases of reopening. Thrilled to see the BTO very proactive and already thinking of marketing this fall.”
The MOTA said COVID-19 has accelerated the ministry’s move to use digital resources and platforms to engage its target audiences.