The Islands Of The Bahamas recently partnered with American Airlines to host a ‘Sip and Paint’ networking opportunity for some of American Airlines’ top travel professionals in the Miami area.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s District Marketing Manager, Tina Lee, in brief remarks before the painting started, said, “We (The Bahamas) have been severely impacted by the hurricane (Dorian), but it’s important for us to do these industry events, as well as consumer events, to get the message out there that although two of our Islands are down, we still want you to travel to The Bahamas.”
Lee emphasized that “Now, our other Islands need your support more than ever. Nassau and Exuma are great options on American Airlines. We have 14 Islands still open for business and you can really help us by sharing this information on your social media channels and sending it out to your clients.”
The tourism executive expressed thanks to the travel professionals in attendance at the event and said, “We are here to have a fun time and enjoy the intimacy of this small group.”
Also encouraging the group to have a fun time, American Airlines’ Sales Manager for the Southeast and Northeast United States, Juan Rodriguez, said that the ‘Sip and Paint’ was a fun opportunity to engage with travel agents and to get a deeper connection on a personal level with them as well as to deepen already existing relationships. “Events like these are crucial,” Rodriguez noted. “They provide an opportunity to speak with the agents one on one, and you get to know them in a way that you would not in a dinner presentation or at a trade show.”
Travel agents participating in the event described the fun gathering as interactive and different. They also remarked that they were glad for the opportunity to speak with members of The Bahamas sales team and receive an update on The Bahamas in the wake of the category 5 Hurricane Dorian.
Luisa Yu of Westchester Travel in Miami said that the event was great, but she was mostly glad to hear about The Bahamas. “When people hear about the devastation in The Bahamas they think everything is destroyed but as we were told earlier, there are 14 other Islands,” Yu said.
“I feel so bad because the Bahama Islands are all so beautiful. I will tell my clients that only two Islands were affected so you can still go. I will encourage them to go to The Bahamas. I love The Bahamas,” the travel professional shared.
The painting event was organized with a twist. Although it included wine along with instructions for individual masterpieces, a special Bahamian lunch was provided. The subject selected for the painting activity was a photo of a conch shell on the beach, and lunch included the special Bahamian delicacy of ‘cracked’ (battered and fried) conch.
In addition to conch, the event’s taste of The Bahamas featured Bahamian fruit punch and desserts including coconut and pineapple tarts as well as miniature guava duff. Songs from The Bahamas and the Caribbean dating back to the sixties and early seventies comprised the songtrack for the event.
The Team from the Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) at the event included Lee; Adrian Kemp and Phyla Shivers, Senior Marketing Representatives; Elke Pettiford, Marketing Coordinator and Jeannie Gibson, Manager, Global Communications.
For more information on The Bahamas including Hurricane Dorian updates and Islands open for business and welcoming visitors, go to www.bahamas.com.
Media Contact: Jeannie Gibson | firstname.lastname@example.org