“ An unqualified success, ” was how attendees to the ‘Summertime in
Freeport’ presentation described the gala event hosted by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s (BMOTA) Atlanta Sales Team. The dynamic preview of summertime fun and excitement in Freeport, Grand Bahama drew Bahamas Specialist travel agents, Atlanta influencers and media to the stylish Buckhead Club overlooking the Atlanta skyline. The festivities at the Buckhead Club featured a business-to-business (B2B) networking reception with Freeport destination vendors, followed by a presentation, ‘Summertime in
Freeport’ and an elegant dinner culminating with entertainment by top Bahamian performing artist Julien “ Believe” who rocked the floor with a medley of his “Junkanoo Pop” hits. The pulsating rhythms of Bahamian Junkanoo brought the grand finale to this memorable evening.
Freeport, the second major city of The Islands Of The Bahamas, was the focal point of the evening, and the event’s decorative theme drew inspiration from the Island’s promotional color — bright orange. Touted as a huge success, the event was organized by the sales team of the Bahamas Tourist Office, Atlanta under the leadership of Area Manager, Garbrielle Archer. “Freeport is a vacation paradise that offers a variety of unique and authentic experiences that visitors are seeking. Tonight’s event gave us the opportunity to showcase our natural assets. Freeport is easily accessible from Atlanta with twice weekly non-stop service on Delta and daily one stop service on Bahamasair through Fort Lauderdale,” Archer said. Phelan Ferguson, Senior Manager of the Bahamas Tourist Office, Atlanta spoke about the Bahamas Specialist Program for travel agents and the rewards and the resources available once the agents are registered. He also took time to briefly highlight the BMOTA’s current Brand Campaign that features world class musical artist, Lenny Kravitz, who is also of Bahamian descent and a resident of The Bahamas.
Karenda Swain of the Freeport (Grand Bahama) Tourist Office shared with the audience, the lineup of exciting ‘Summertime in Freeport’ cultural events and activities on tap for the months of July and August. She informed attendees about the upcoming Goombay Summer Festival and the Junkanoo Summer Festival, and also updated them on new hotel developments. Swain also spoke about one of The Bahamas’ signature programs, “People to People,” which pairs visitors with local Bahamians who share a common interest or background, to allow the visitor to be a Bahamian for a day. Carmel Churchill of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) expanded on the myriad of options of ‘Summertime in Freeport’ by outlining 40 plus fun activities visitors to Freeport can participate in — kayaking, horseback riding, dolphin encounters, snorkeling, diving, fishing, eco adventures, or simply luxuriating on one of the island’s many beaches, just to name a few. Other Freeport vendors participating included Juan Romero, Grand Lucayan Resort and Dominique Smith, from the Pelican Bay Hotel. Other sponsors of the outstanding event were Delta Vacations, Bahamasair, Pelican Bay Hotel, Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan Resort, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, Old Bahama Bay Hotel, UNEXSO, West End Ecology Tours, H. Forbes Charter Services, Bahamian Brewery, Sands Beer and Bootleg Chocolates.
Gifts donated throughout the evening were generously sponsored by Freeport vendors participating in the event, and by many who were not in attendance. Gifts ranged from swag bags packed with all the essentials for a day at the beach to trips and grand prizes that included transportation to the island, hotels, ground transfers and on island
activities. Remarking on the overall outcome of the evening, Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board (GBITB) representative, Mrs. Churchill noted that “The event fully portrayed the diversity of vacation offerings to be experienced in Freeport. Guests in attendance got a peek of what our island has to offer and we certainly gave them something to look forward to or to share with others to encourage them to visit our destination. Julien ’Believe’ and the Junkanoo performers did an outstanding job with bringing the sounds of our Island, and the menu, which included conch salad and red snapper, depicted the flavors of Grand Bahama.” “The event this evening here in Atlanta and those held earlier in Florida have vividly showcased all that our island has to offer. We in Freeport look forward to rolling out the welcome mat to travel professionals and their clients, bloggers, influencers and the like, to our destination this summer so that they can experience firsthand all of what they got a preview of, and so much more,” Churchill said.