Bahamian Tourism Maven Named ‘2023 Influencer’ by International Group


Bahamian tourism maven Lonise Carey has been named in the top 15 Meetings Industry Influencers around the world for the year 2023. The Northstar Meetings Group and M&C Industry Influencers is a much-anticipated list that highlights the best of the best in the industry – people who are making strides worth commemorating. 

Carey has been hailed for her ability to bridge the gap between the creative work of destination management professionals and the compensation they deserve.

“Destination management companies have struggled for decades to get paid for their ideas,” she said.

“We were giving away a lot of the creative work and waiting for compensation that sometimes never came. There is now a clear differentiation between proposals and full-blown work plans. When we recognize industry gaps and successfully close them, we create a more sustainable industry for DMCs.”

Northstar and M&C choose the top 15 influencers from “thousands of talented and passionate individuals who contribute to the growth and strength of the meetings industry”.

“Narrowing down the year’s standouts for this annual feature is difficult and subjective,” the group said. 

“For months prior, the M&C editorial team conducted research and interviews to build a list of contenders, then painstakingly whittled it down to the true standouts. The 15 leaders profiled here are not only focused on their day-to-day tasks, they’re looking at the bigger picture: the near and long-term betterment of the meetings industry.”

Carey is the Managing Partner of Island Destination Services, a destination management company in The Bahamas. She made a significant international impact when she was appointed president of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI) in February of this year, presiding over members in 30 countries covering four continents. 

Since then, Carey has been a revolutionary leader who has advocated for her colleagues in ways that have resulted in a greater level of respect and more avenues for income for her peers. Under her leadership, ADMEI has formed a number of strategic partnerships with organisations like the International Live Events Association (ILEA) and SITE, a leading organisation in incentive travel. 

The year 2023 is also a highpoint for her company, as Island Destination Services won its seventh World Travel Award, solidifying its position as a leading destination management company in The Bahamas and the world. 

Carey has been recognised in the top 15 in the meetings industry along with Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and founder, Cvent; Joe Fijol, Principal and founder, ETHOS Event Collective; Anette Gregg, CEO, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence; Megan Henshall, Global Events Strategic Solutions Lead, Google; Earla Jones, Director, Conference Services & Operations, American Library Association; Sherrif Karamat, President & CEO, Professional Convention Management Association and Corporate Event Marketing Association; James Latham, Producer, The Iceberg; Margaret Launzel Penns, CEO, Pop Experiential; Amanda Ma, CEO and Founder, Innovate Marketing Group; Panos Moutafis, CEO and Founder, Zenus; Jaime Nack, President, Three Squares Inc; Christine Renaud, CEO and Founder, Braindate by e180; Stacy Ritter, President & CEO, Visit Lauderdale; and Alex Zapple, Senior Director of Meetings, American Society of Nephrology.

“I am profoundly honored to announce my recognition as one of Northstar Meetings Group’s Influential Event Professionals of 2023, Carey said, calling it a “humbling distinction”

“The energy of our field, the bonds we cultivate, and the extraordinary experiences we create continue to fuel a deep sense of drive and purpose within me. Equally important is the positive impact our work has on local communities. As DMCs, our work empowers local businesses in each destination, ensuring that tourism dollars are within their reach.”

Source: Felicity Darville