ATLANTA, Georgia – Bahamian tourism officials will more aggressively target the African American market in the United States of America through heritage tourism initiatives going forward – including “the lucrative group tour market.”
The plan includes boosting the country’s heritage tourism market to take advantage of the shared history, geography and culture of the global African Diaspora.
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Prior to his address, Prime Minister, Dr. Hubert A. Minnis took the opportunity to state that his thoughts and prayers, those of his wife, Patricia, who accompanied the prime minister on his visit to Atlanta, and those of the people of The Bahamas, “go out to those in Texas and Louisiana who have experienced devastation and extreme flooding as a result of Hurricane Harvey”.
He continued, “On behalf of the people and government of The Bahamas, I express our solidarity and deepest regards to those affected by the hurricane. With parts of The Bahamas still recovering from Hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew, we know well the long road of recovery and renewal.”
Addressing a cocktail reception for Bahamians living in Atlanta, those of Bahamian heritage and “friends of the Bahamian Diaspora”, Minnis said The Bahamas enjoys a special bond with the people of the United States of America – including cities such as Atlanta and states such as Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas and New York, among others – through history and geography.
“One area that we are keen to boost as a tourism demographic in the United States is the African American market, inclusive of the lucrative group tour market,” Minnis said on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
“This includes associations of African American professionals at the local, state and national levels. As one of my predecessors in office noted, ‘The Bahamas shares our African Diaspora heritage with blacks from around the globe and most particularly with those from North America’.”
“Today, more than ever, we are dedicated to owning our history, writing and telling our own story from our own point of view. As we boost our heritage tourism market, we are mindful that this includes the African Diaspora Heritage trail, which has a deep history and numerous landmarks in The Bahamas.
“We invite African Americans in the United States to experience in The Bahamas a shared heritage as they discover the many Islands of The Bahamas. Of course, we invite all friends of The Bahamas to visit The Bahamas, and to consider the many possibilities of our archipelago of opportunity – from tourism, to investment, to second home ownership,” Minnis added.
Minnis said the government of The Bahamas has undertaken a program of long-term economic growth in order to reduce unemployment and to move the Bahamian economy to a more sustainable path since coming to office on May 10.
He told attendees that his administration is also dedicated to stabilizing public finances, reforming government and addressing official corruption.
The program of reform and transformation, Minnis said, includes new thinking about the role of government “as we create new and innovative partnerships for national development”.