Via Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
The Abacos have struck gold, officially. For the first time in history, the island has received 300,000 visitors, the second highest number of visitors after Nassau, in 2017, according to Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Michael Pintard, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar.
Addressing the 15th annual Abaco Business Outlook Conference, Minister Pintard highlighted the impact of the Ministry of Tourism’s 16-island destination strategy designed to create high visibility for the Out Islands. The Abacos, he pointed out, are already seeing results.
“Abaco’s can-do, pioneering spirit has moved this island to the forefront of The Bahamas tourism identity. Abaco rocks, but Abaconians are not people to rest on their laurels. They have set their sights on loftier goals. Abaco is reaching for the stars. Abaco aims to be nothing less than world class,” Pintard remarked.
The Ministry of Tourism’s new marketing strategy showcases individual island destinations in the destination’s major markets, across all mediums, includingprint, television, radio and social media.
Under the theme of the Business Outlook,“Creating a World Class Abaco,” Pintard challenged Abaconians to examine their key assets and find ways to break into niche markets.
“To create a world class Abaco, Abaconians, what you will need to do is take a critical look at each of your key assets, and ask the question, ‘How can we take our natural assets and tourism product offerings to the next level?’”
Pintard suggested tours and excursions, family-oriented attractions, history/cultural tours/art tours and a bigger focus on sports as ways which Abaconians could take their tourism product to the next level. He added that the Ministry of Tourism can be counted on for support.
“The Ministry of Tourism is committed to providing the marketing support that Abaco needs to become world class. The Ministry will continue to organize familiarization trips for media and social influencers to come down to Abaco to explore the island’s diverse tourism offerings and to tell the rich stories of Abaco that will create a buzz in the tourism marketplace. The Ministry of Tourism will seek out elite international brands to collaborate with to bring exposure to Abaco,” he said.
Pintard also reminded the audiencethat while guests appreciate infrastructure and amenities, The Bahamas and, by extension, the Abacos must distinguish themselves as world class through customer service. ”Excellent service that anticipates and exceeds the expectation of the guests will take Abaco to world class and excellent service is built on the foundation of ongoing training. Management everywhere in Abaco, I urge you to offer ongoing customer service training to your staff. The Ministry of Tourism has an extensive education and training department that can assist you with all your training needs.”