August 23, 2019
The Vertical Department team of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) recently led a group of forty persons comprising private pilots, flying ambassadors, fixed based operators (FB0) and aviation media professionals to Freeport, Grand Bahama, for a familiarization trip of the destination.
The group, made up of representatives from Florida Aero Club, Stuart Jet Center, ATA Flight School, Jetscape, Aerospace, Banyan Air Service, Atlantic Aviation and Women in Aviation, departed from the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, on August 15 and returned on August 18, 2019. Media representatives from Aviation International News and 121fiveonline flew commercially.
The trip was designed to educate participants on Grand Bahama’s tourism and aviation product and services, network and meet with government officials and industry stake-holders, formulate business opportunities and simultaneously, provide the guests with a firsthand experience of the island’s unique attractions.
“The closest destination to the USA, getting to The Bahamas is not only quick, but it’s easy, says Captain Greg Rolle,” Senior Director at the MOTA.
“We, along with the Bahamas Flying Ambassadors, our experts, have made it extremely easy for pilots, veterans or newbies, to fly in, around and out of our more than 60 airports in the Bahamas. Our fixed based operators, who, are the glue and that one stop shop for pilots, provide these pilots with all the necessary information, recommendations, guidance, tools and resources they need to travel to our destination,” he said.
“We have seen added interest from private pilots wanting to conduct group Fly Outs to The Bahamas, as well as a keen desire to engage in more authentic and culturally enriched experiences. As such, we were delighted to host them and created an itinerary that exceeded their needs and desires,” said Captain Rolle.
While in Grand Bahama, the group participated in a seminar conducted by the MOTA, Bahamas Customs and Immigration and Royal Bahamas Police Force agencies, as well as heard from stakeholders from the Grand Bahama Airport Company and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The group also visited the West End Airport, Old Bahama Bay Hotel, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Hotel, Pelican Bay, Bahamas Brewery, Grand Bahama Perfume Factory, encountered and swam with dolphins and attended the Junaknoo Summer Festival.
“The Bahamas is the leading destination in the Caribbean region for general aviation and in 2018, recorded historic levels of growth in that sector. We are proud of our achievement, but not yet satisfied. We are working feverishly on innovative ways to exceed the expectations of private pilots and FBO operators and to creating mutually rewarding opportunities for growth for our clients. In 2019, we fully intend to outperform our 2018 historic arrival record,” Rolle concluded.
About The Islands Of The Bahamas
The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone from Nassau and Paradise Island to Grand Bahama to The Abaco Islands, The Exuma Islands, Harbour Island, Long Island and others. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best golf, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and the Bahamian dollar on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on, Twitter and YouTube.
Pictured are participants in the MOTA’s FBO, flying ambassadors and aviation media familiarization trip to Grand Bahama, August 15-18, 2019. While in Grand Bahama, the group toured the airport at West End and ate lunch at Teaser’s Restaurant, at Old Bahama Bay.
Group members participated in a seminar conducted by the MOTA, Bahamas Customs, Bahamas Immigration, Royal Bahamas Police Force, Grand Bahama Airport Company and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.
The educational familiarization trip also allowed participants to engaged in the authentic Junkanoo culture of The Bahamas, which they experienced at the Junkanoo Summer Festival on Taino Beach.
Pictured is fixed based operator, Nicholas Yanarella, of Banyan Air Service, swimming with the dolphins at UNEXSO, which according to him was an “amazing experience”.