For the first time ever the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB) will feature a cruise line in its Bahamas advertising, NPIPB Chief Executive Officer Fred Lounsberry said yesterday, as Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line begins its cruise and stay packages to Nassau from the Port of Palm Beach.
Lounsberry, who was aboard Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Classica yesterday for a luncheon to commemorate the cruise ship’s first sailing into the Port of Nassau, said the cruise and stay initiative represents an opportunity for new business for hotel properties on Nassau and Paradise Island.
“We exist to support our hotels, our members,” Lounsberry said.
“This really looks like new business that we haven’t had. It really is an opportunity for new business; from a promotion board standpoint we are going to promote it.”
Bahamas Paradise Chief Executive Officer Oneil Khosa said the cruise and stay initiative will bring an extra 250,000 guests to The Bahamas annually, guests that would likely not only visit Nassau and Paradise Island, but also the Family Islands.
Khosa said 700 people sailed to the Port of Nassau aboard the company’s Grand Classica ship yesterday. He said the company so far has hotel package agreements with Melia Nassau Beach resort, Comfort Suites Paradise Island, SLS Baha Mar and the British Colonial Hilton hotel.
“What is going to cause a great change is the amount of people we bring to this island and the impact they can create,” Khosa said.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Francis Riley said because the cruise line is dedicated to The Bahamas as a destination, all of its passengers’ spend will happen on these islands, whereas other cruise line guests might split their money between The Bahamas and other destinations.
“I think the cruise and stay program is a winning formula,” Riley said. “We’ve been super successful with this on Grand Bahama.”
When Hurricane Dorian struck, Bahamas Paradise was the first company to begin evacuating Grand Bahama’s affected residents and providing aid and support to the island.