The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation recently participated in the AIRLINE Networking Conference in London.
Attending were Tyrone G. Sawyer, Senior Director – Airlift Development, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; Faye Cash, General Manager/Senior Analyst – Airlift Development, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; and Anthony Stuart, Director of Europe at the Bahamas Tourist Office, London.
The AIRLINE Networking Conference has a unique format that is designed to optimize networking by representatives of airlines and the tourism destination, and the airports that they serve. Executives of airports and destinations (like The Islands Of The Bahamas) are seated around the table for face to face encounters that allow parties to arrange appointments for meetings of 25 minutes duration, or shorter exploratory “hand shake” meetings of 5 – 8 minutes.
At the London conference, the Bahamas Team met with representatives of several airlines from Europe and Latin America that do not presently service The Bahamas destination. The team also met with existing airline partners. The conference provided a cost effective opportunity for the Bahamas Team to meet with several airline partners in one place - obviating the need to travel to meet with each one individually.
Market intelligence garnered at AIRLINE Networking, London, was quite positive: there is a robust, surging consumer demand for travel to The Islands Of The Bahamas. Islands such as Nassau, Eleuthera and Abaco have experienced significant increases in the number of nonstop flights and airline seats over the past year. Exuma is beginning to absorb the impact of a steep increase in airline seats over the past two years. These flights have, for the most part, maintained or seen growth in load factor performance, despite the hefty increases in the number of airline seats. All of this bodes well for Bahamas tourism growth in the near term.
“We have been able,” explained Tyrone Sawyer, Senior Director – Airlift at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, “to successfully secure nonstop international flights to Exuma, North Eleuthera and Abaco from key hubs like Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte and Ft. Lauderdale; and as a result, these islands now enjoy the same unfettered market access as Nassau and Freeport. We will continue this effort to other islands, while we vigorously pursue new nonstop flight airlift opportunities to Nassau and Freeport from new markets as part of a strategy to broaden the base of the country’s airlift.”
Pictured (left-to-right): Chris Kennedy, General Manager – Relationships/Network Planning, Delta Air Lines; Anthony Stuart, Director – Europe, Bahamas Tourist Office, London; Faye Cash, General Manager – Airlift, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; Tyrone G. Sawyer, Senior Director – Airlift, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation; Sallyanne Collins, Managing Director – AIRLINE Networking Conference, London.
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