June was here? Ju-ly! Get it? June came and went as quickly as July did. Because of this, we thought it would be best to combine updates for both months to make sure you didn't miss any important details.
- Tourists have been coming in greater numbers: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) has reported that first quarter international visitor numbers point to an increase in arrivals, signaling that business turnaround from Q4 of 2017 has continued to flow into 2018. The Bahamas experienced significant increases in foreign air and sea arrivals, which are up 2.8%. Foreign air arrivals alone reached a substantial 18% increase compared to Q1 of 2017.
- BMOTA was recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in the Virtual Visitor Award category for “Best Feature in an Online Publication” at the annual Caribbean Tourism Industry Awards on the evening of June 7 at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel. The award was bestowed on the BMOTA and Alexander Britell, editor in chief of the Caribbean Journal, for the article in the digital publication titled, “Following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Bimini.” The Bahamas was recognized for editorial coverage with nominations in three other categories:
- Up the Social Ladder: Best Social Media Marketing Campaign by a CTO Member Country: The Bahamas #NoFilter Social Influencer Campaign.
- Me Too! I Rediscovered Home! Best Feature by a Diasporan Journalist in U.S. or Caribbean Media: Essence, “4 Reasons to Fall in Love with this Classic Bahamas Resort All Over Again”.
- No Anansi Story! Best Feature by a Caribbean-based Journalist that appeared in Caribbean-based media: Welcome Bahamas, “Families Flock to Pirates Cove: Freeport Welcomes First Bahamian Theme Park”
In addition to editorial accolades for The Bahamas, Director General Joy Jibrilu received the esteemed Allied Award, presented to an individual from the CTO family who has done an extraordinary job of contributing to the sustainable development of the region.
- Junkanoo Summer Festival launched in Nassau on June 28 in Pompey Square to kick off the MOTA signature summer event. The festival took place every Saturday from July 7 to August 4
- June 21 marked the first time the Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down at the Grand Bahama International Airport. European tour operator, Alpitour, has added the long-haul, fuel-efficient aircraft to the fleet operated by Neos, a leisure airline, a subsidiary of Alpitour, operating out of Malpensa Airport, Milan, Italy. The plane is expected to bring approximately 120 passengers to Grand Bahama Island on a weekly basis.
- Goombay Summer Festival in Grand Bahama kicked off in grand style on July 5 on Taino Beach and it ended on August 2. The event was held every Thursday and it was another successful event.
- On Friday, July 20, the United States warship, the USS Hue City, made a special visit to Grand Bahama Island where the crew hosted a small ceremony on board at the Freeport Harbour to celebrate the partnership with The Bahamas.
- Starting December 22, American Airlines will operate a Saturday-only flight with an Airbus A319 aircraft between New York LaGuardia and Lynden Pindling International Airport
- The nine-day Regatta Time in Abaco sailing event ended without a hitch. This year's overall winner was a Hope Town Native, Jeff Gale and his boat Bent Toe.
- The Bahamas won three gold medals at this year’s Taste of the Caribbean held in Miami, Florida, June 22-26. The three gold medals were in the categories of: Chef of the Year, Junior Chef of the Year and Team of the Year.
- Bahamas Bash Lacrosse Tournament returned to Grand Bahama Island (GBI) from June 29 to July 1. Approximately 100 players, parents, and coaches from Florida returned to GBI for the second annual tournament.
- You may have seen it but in case you haven’t, The Bahamas is the backdrop to one of the latest videos to have gone viral. Devon Steeves was only five years old when her dad was diagnosed with cancer. Over a period of 18 years, she has watched him battle through hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis, mental illness, a hip surgery, liver cancer, and a liver transplant. After he beat cancer, she planned a dream trip for him to The Bahamas and got Trip Advisor, the Sandyport Beach Resort, Regatta Point Resort, Stuart Cove's SUB Adventure, Paradise Ocean Sports, Exuma Powerboat Adventures, Robert's Island Adventures, Chat n Chill, Blue Sail Restaurant and Social House all on board to surprise her favorite person with a dream trip.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to follow us on Tourism Today Bahamas on Facebook for regular updates.