Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All hands on deck for The Bahamas!

Talkin' Tourism host Gary Guertin, MOB manager Shamine Johnson
Port Lucaya Marina manager Karen Pinder, Ft. Lauderdale
Bahamas Tourist Office general manager Earl Millier,
Out Island Promotion Board president Shamine Johnson,
Out Islands Promotion Board senior director of marketing
Valery Brown-Alce, and consultant to the Bimini Big Game Club/
Guy Harvey Outpost Resort Chris Pollock.
There can be no doubt after broadcasting LIVE from the 52nd Annual Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show that marine tourism is alive and well. As has been the mantra since the show went on the air, the fact that the Islands of the Bahamas are so close to South Florida and the Treasure Coast that what happens on one side of the Gulf Stream impacts marine tourism on the other side. 

Here are a few boat show facts that illustrate the impact and size of this show:  (1) there were are total of 1,800 boats on display; (2) the total value of boats and accessories on display was 3 billion dollars; (3) estimated attendance was projected at 150,000. Yes, marine tourism and boating are BIG business and The Islands of the Bahamas, with over 100,000 square miles pristine boating waters are hoping to capitalize on this segment of the tourism industry. 

Jeanne Gibson from the Bahamas Tourism Office
capturing the show on film!

It was our pleasure to have a number of the key players in the Bahamas tourism industry on the show. All are leaders in the promotion of the vertical markets of fishing, boating diving and outdoor pursuits. Sitting in as guest co-host was Earl Miller, the general manager of the Ft. Lauderdale Bahamas Tourist Office. A veteran of the marine tourism industry, Earl shared his thoughts on how the Bahamas is focused on enhancing the boater experience. Also, providing great insights as to why you should visit the Out Islands were Valery Brown-Alce, a senior director of marketing for the Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board, and Chavonne Darville, the president of the Out Island Promotion Board. Shamine Johnson, manager of the Marina Operators of the Bahamas (MOB), explained how the private sector is doing their part to assist the Ministry in this effort. 

Representing individual properties were Chris Pollock, consultant to the Bimini Big Game Club/Guy Harvey Outpost Resort and Karen Pinder, manager of Grand Bahama's Port Lucaya Marina

And, as a side note, one Flahama friend we met, who didn't appear on the show, was Sandra "Sandy" Davis. Sandy is a a travel writer and photographer and earlier this year released an iPhone and iPad app—Bahamas Bliss: Bimini. If a trip to Bimini is in your future, or if you've ever dreamed of visiting Bimini, this is an app you'll want to check out. Sandy is working on her second Bahamas app—this one for Abaco.

Special co-host Earl Miller and Talkin' Tourism host
Gary Guertin are all smiles during the broadcast.
Our Bahamian (and Flahamian) guests really pulled out all the stops on this show. So, listeners, if you are inclined to seek a Bahamas boating get away, download last week's Talkin' Tourism audio file (Show 145 / October 28) and listen in on all The Bahamas is doing to give you a top notch experience. 

Special thanks and a shout-out to Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center for accommodating our live remote. We had a great time and look forward to returning to the show again next year!

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