Bahamas Offers More Than Sun, Sand and Sea Minister Wilchcombe Tells Golf Channel

The catchy slogan “It’s Better in The Bahamas”rolled off the lips of the Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe during a live interview on the Golf Channel at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Sunday, February 8, 2015. 

He declared Golf Channel on-air talents and commentators Charlie Rymer and Karen Stupples “ambassadors”of The Bahamas during the segment, which was about six minutes and millions of dollars in free advertising for the country. 

When asked about the country’s hosting the third annual Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Mr. Wilchcombe quipped, “It’s Better in The Bahamas!”to which Rymer chuckled, “I knew you were going to say that!”

The Minister explained that The Bahamas has so much else to offer besides the traditional sun, sand and sea. “The Bahamas is a place where dreams are made, where you can do the things that you always wanted to do. So you can come to The Bahamas and take care of that and have a good time.” 

The Bahamas is made up of more than 700 islands and cays. The Minister was asked how easy is it to get to the Family Islands and what sort of activities are there to do. He replied: “We have 16 inhabited islands that we are really focusing on right now. Some of the principal islands are New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera, Bimini and some of the Southern Islands we want people to discover.”

Mr. Wilchcombe said that the city of Nassau, the capital of New Providence, serves as the hub and visitors could catch scheduled flights or ferry boat services from the United States to the islands. “It’s not too far away, particularly if you are in the United States -- New York or Atlanta, it takes you about two hours and Miami, Florida, it takes about 30 minutes to get here. 

“But when you get to The Bahamas –you will see one thing that’s consistent –the hospitality of the Bahamian people. That’s our greatest asset but every island is different,”he said.

He noted there are six golf courses throughout the islands and in Bimini visitors can interact with history where Ernest Hemmingway, Adam Clayton Powell and Martin Luther King Jr. frequented for inspiration and fishing.

“That is why we are so proud of the fact that God has given us a tremendous location. We are right next door to the United States, and 90 percent of our visitors come from the United States. We say proudly that it is Better in The Bahamas.

To this Rymer responded, “Well Obie, you have two believers here and we’ve had a wonderful time. Thank you again for hosting us.”

Mr. Wilchcombe said, ”You have been wonderful ambassadors. Thank you for coming.” 

The Minister’s interview came on the heels of Director General Joy Jibrilu’s interview with the Golf Channel on Wednesday, February 4. 

The Bahamas was exposed to 10 hours of live coverage on the Golf Channel. The Golf Channel is an American cable and satellite television network owned by the NBC Sports Group division of NBCUniversal, focusing on coverage of the sport of golf. The Golf Channel is available in the United States, Canada and a few nations in Asia and Latin America through cable, satellite and wireless transmissions. As of August 2013, Golf Channel is available to approximately 82 million pay television households in the United States alone.

 The Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic attracted 120 golfers in competition on the Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course located on the eastern end of Paradise Island. Six of the top 10 players in the current Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings entered the tournament. The Bahamas’own Raquel Riley also competed.

The Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic offers a purse of 41.3 million, plus a full allocation of points in the Race to the CME Globe season-long competition. The winner also receives $195,000 and 500CME Globe points.

Media Contact: Lindsay Thompson | Bahamas Information Services