The 2018 Fort Lauderdale International Show (FLIBS) opened with a burst of kaleidoscope colors and high energy on October 31, as the Colors Junkanoo group, paraded the show grounds at Sea Breeze Boulevard, in beautiful costumes while dancing to the pulsating and rhythmic junkanoo sound of goat skinned drums, cowbells, whistles and horns. The group, led by its President, Chris Justilien, marked the first time that The Bahamas’ premier junkanoo culture, was featured at FLIBS’ opening and totally captivated show goers, who quickly joined the rush out, which ended at the newly unveiled, Bahamas Pavilion.

The Bahamas pavilion, which debuted its new look at this year’s show, spans 800 square feet and features map displays of the Islands in The Bahamas, video walls and virtual reality authentic experiences in the Abacos, Nassau, Freeport and the Exumas.   The new display and marketing tool is designed to further build brand awareness, geo-target boaters, marinas and high end vacationers and simultaneously, capture business leads. 

The Bahamas participation was organized by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) vertical team; along with the Out island Promotion Board and Association of Bahamas Marinas, in conjunction with Informa, organizers for the US International Boat Shows.  The Bahamas also saw representation from many of its leading hotels and marina partners including Bahamasair, Atlantis Marina, Bay Street Marina, Bluff House, Highbourne Cay Marina, Hope Town Inn and Marina, Odyssey Aviation, Palm Cay Marina, Grand Bahama Yacht Club, Resorts World Bimini, Romora Bay Resort and Marina, Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Watermakers Air, Treasure Cay Beach Hotel and Marina, Valentine’s Resort and Marina, Tropic Ocean Airways and the Chat n Chill Bar and Restaurant.

Greg Rolle, Sr. Director for Sports and Vertical Markets, BMOTA said, “FLIBS generates a substantial amount of bookings and income for many of the hotels and marinas in The Bahamas.  Our new state-of-the-art, attractive and impressively branded pavilion, which is centrally located at this show, not only demonstrates our commitment to this important industry, but also displays the level of respect and confidence that the international industry have in us.”  

“We are extremely pleased with our team of professional industry partners, who are truly committed and continue to assist us, in getting our message out to our visitors, that boating is indeed Better in The Bahamas.  Their presence at this show, speaks volume of the importance of this show and to their commitment to our Bahamas tourism product, which is second to none in the region,” he said.

More than 100,000 persons from 52 countries around the world are expected to attend this year’s FLIBS, which runs October 31 through November 4, showcasing more than1500 in-water boats and 1200 exhibitors.

Media Contact: D. Earnestine Moxyz | Bahamas Tourist Office | 954-236-9292 | emoxyz@bahamas.com

Photo Captions:

Colors Group leader Chris Justilien jumps in line for a quick photo with his group, during its performance at the opening of the 2018 FLIBS.

Pictured are Bahamas Ministry of Tourism staff and industry partners at the new, state of the art, Bahamas Pavilion.  Seated are Richard Treco, Sr. Manager, Verticals, BMOTA; Basil Smith, Consultant, Association of Bahamas Marinas; Linda Mackey, Bahamas Consul General, Greg Rolle, Sr. Director, Sports & Verticals, BMOTA; Calvin Williams, and Donna Ash, Manager, BMOTA.