Page 1 of 1

Vacation Express boosts tourist numbers in Grand Bahama

Posted: Tue Jul 08, 2014
by bimjim
http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish ... 5822.shtml

Vacation Express boosts tourist numbers in Grand Bahama
Kendea Smith
Jul 7, 2014

Ministry of Tourism officials are reporting that the partnership between Vacation Express, Grand Bahama Promotion Board and the Bahamasair is yielding positive results.

The partnership, which commenced on May 1 and will last until October 31 2014, is expected to bring thousands of tourists from Birmingham, Alabama; Raleigh, North Carolina; Columbus, Ohio; Memphis, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio and increase the average night stay in the nation’s second city.

The inclusive air package includes a stay at Memories Grand Bahama Beach resort.

Carmel Churchill of the Grand Bahama Promotion Board said Grand Bahama is already seeing a huge economic difference.

“Since the introduction of the new flights into the destination Grand Bahama is receiving an additional 4,650 new air seats monthly. What it means is that we now have increased hotel room occupancy, more use of our ancillary services and an overall increased interest for the destination in these gateways,” she said.

In fact, according to Ms. Churchill, occupancy has increased by seven per cent YTD on May 31, 2014 compared to same period last year. Room Revenue also increased by $3.2 million or 37 per cent, of which Memories accounts for $1.7 million or 54 per cent.

Meanwhile, Ms. Churchill said the Grand Bahama Promotion Board is also looking to try other strategies to get heads in beds.

“The Grand Bahama Island Tourism board has engaged an International Marketing Agency that will be focused on developing and managing it's Digital Marketing Platforms, I.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube and Google,” she said.

“This initiative will allow us to reach our target market in a timely manner, being able to communicate in meaningful ways while delivering to them valid content that is specific to their interest. With the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism’s focus on re-engaging the travel agent industry we are there with them each step of the way insuring that the Grand Bahama Island brand is visible and able to take advantage of emerging opportunities.”

Betty Bethel of the Ministry of Tourism’s Grand Bahama office also spoke how beneficial the partnership is.

“I feel that the following reasons make the partnership beneficial: ownership of the air (Sunwing) and hotel (Memories Blue Diamond Resort) components, being one in the same, makes for the perfect recipe for success for Grand Bahama,” he said.

“Additionally, Sunwing has a reach in Europe through its parent company, Tui which is the largest tour operation in Europe combined with its US based company, Vacation Express, broadens our base of potential guests from the US, Canada and Europe.”

Vacation Express is part of family-owned and operated Toronto-based Sunwing Travel Group.

Officials say the company has sold well over 2 million vacation packages to exotic destinations.