Tourism Director General Calls Bahamas Performance at Caribbean Week Spectacular
PHOTO: Bahamian culture on full display during the Party in the Backyard at Caribbean Week NYC. (courtesy Bahamas Ministry of Tourism)
Following The Bahamas’ “spectacular” showing at Caribbean Week NYC, Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu said “New York will never be the same again”.
The curtains came down on Caribbean Week with energetic performances by local artists during the awards show and concert Caribbean Rocks NYC.
“I don’t think New York will ever be the same again,” Jibrilu said shortly after Rake ‘N Scrape artists Stileet, Puzzle, D Mac, Fanshawn and the Spank Band fired up the crowd.
“The Bahamas has come and taken over in just spectacular fashion. What a successful week for the Islands of The Bahamas.”
The Bahamas hosted two signature events, Date Night and Party in the Backyard, both of which attracted hundreds of people.
The signature events showcased the very best of The Bahamas,” Jibrilu added.
“…By every yard stick, it was phenomenally successful.”
The Bahamian party in the back yard was likely the most popular event of the week.
“We really invited 450 people,” she said.
“I think we had close to double that amount. I’m scared to say it because I don’t want to think that we broke any laws in New York but the room pulsated. It pulsated with great music. It pulsated because there was great food.
“We had peas and rice, fried snapper, okra soup, macaroni, coleslaw, guava duff. Everybody ate to their heart’s contents and enjoyed signature drinks in the process but it was just the atmosphere.
“People came as far away from Washington, Chicago, Baltimore, a busload of people came in from Baltimore and of course, New York.”
In addition to Bahamian food, the guests – a mix of Bahamians living in the United States an American travel agents and journalists – were entertained by the contingent of Bahamian performers.
Another highlight of the evening was the 25 minute Junkanoo rushout. The Ministry of Tourism handed out whistles to the partygoers, some of whom danced along with Colours Junkanoo Group.
Jibrilu said that the bottom line for the Ministry of Tourism was to get people to see the destination for more than just the sun, sand and sea.
“The New York market and the tristate area [are some] of our most important markets,” she said.
“In terms of airlift, we have direct airlift coming from JFK, La Guardia and Newark. I think our third highest market comes from this area in terms of numbers. So to come here and have our presence felt where people walk away saying, ‘it’s better in The Bahamas, we want to visit the Bahamas’, is great.
“They all know that we celebrate sun sand and sea, but how many people know our culture? So we were able to expose to them our music, our entertainment, our food and this resonated with people in such a major way.
“So in addition to saying, ‘wow, it’s only two and a half hours to get there and that’s a great beach location’, all of a sudden they’re saying that’s a place to go for great food that’s a great place to go for great culture.
Jibrilu’s comments come of the heels of the release of the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Quality Index Resonance Report.
The report, which was released during Caribbean Week indicates that The Bahamas ranked among the top ten Caribbean countries in culture, entertainment, connectivity, culinary and adventure, and “leapfrogged” Jamaica to claim the number four spot in absolute rankings.
“That independent information coming out of the report highlights that what we’re doing is letting the world know what were all about,” she said.
The study measures tourism’s supply-side performance and competitiveness in 28 destinations across the Caribbean. The absolute rankings are based on the total number of very good or excellent experiences in each country according to thousands of visitor reviews on TripAdvisor and other social media.
SOURCE: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism press release
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