July 24, 2019
Authentic Bahamian cultural activities, including the Goombay Summer Festival, were a big hit for a recent group of Florida and Georgia travel agents who visited Freeport, Grand Bahama for a familiarization trip.
The group included about 40 travel agents from the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Atlanta areas, all of whom had been exposed to The Bahamas product through seminars or presentations during the year.
District Manager of the Bahamas Tourist Office, Florida, Tina Lee, shared the purpose of the trip: "This mega fam is the culmination of a series of activities we have done throughout Florida to promote the island of Freeport, Grand Bahama for summer travel. Our push consisted of three "Summertime in Freeport" events (Miami, Boca and Orlando) which educated the agents on Freeport and three fam trips to the island, one by ferry (Balearia), one by cruise (Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line) and the last by air (Bahamasair) which allowed them the opportunity to touch, taste and experience all the beauty the island has to offer. Additionally, Bahamasair just introduced a new direct flight to Freeport from Orlando which really enhanced our ability to showcase Freeport to our Orlando agents who would have attended, in addition to those from southern Florida.”
“The Goombay Summer Festival was one of the highlights of my Freeport, Grand Bahama experience,” said Eva Jordan-Johnson, group event specialist from Oakland, Fl. “I enjoyed the guided nature walk and bush tea tasting. The festival was a taste of The Bahamas, the food, the culture and the people. Some other highlights for me were the conch demonstration and of course, the Goombay Parade with the dancers and the drummers. I will be recommending the Festival to clients who visit during the time the Goombay Festival is offered.”
“The travel agents got a taste of Bahamian culture, and music,” said Sanique Culmer, Manager of Group Services & Events, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. “We were so delighted that we were able to also showcase the Goombay Summer Festival. During the third week of the festival we attracted close to 500 visitors.”
The group’s accommodations were at the Pelican Bay at Lucaya Resort. The familiarization also included site inspections and tours of key attractions.
Bahamas Tourism representatives and travel agents are shown outside the Candle Factory in Freeport where they were updated firsthand on how local candles, soaps and souvenirs are made.
Travel agents tour the Candle Factory in Freeport
Fenrick Russell " Mr. Bush Tea" shows a variety of teas ay the Goombay Summer Festival to travel agents Steven Troy Yarborough and Amy Yarborough. Tina Lee BTO Florida looks on.
Shown from left to right at the Goombay Summer Festival in Freeport is Phylia Shivers BTO Florida; Sanique Culmer Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Freeport; D-Mac, entertainer; Tina Lee BTO Florida; Anita Johnson-Patty, BTO-Global Communications; and Garbrielle Archer BTO Atlanta.
Shown from left to right at the Goombay Summer Festival in Freeport is Garbrielle Archer, BTO Atlanta; Phelan Ferguson, BTO Atlanta; Anita Johnson-Patty, BTO-Global Communications; Nicholas Wisdom, BTO Atlanta; Phylia Shivers BTO Florida; and Tina Lee, BTO Florida.