NASSAU, Bahamas: Seventy-five public relations professionals and their guests visited Nassau during this year’s Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Sunshine District Conference held on June 23 – 26.
Every year the PRSA holds a conference in different districts, this year it was organized by North Florida. The organizers of this year’s conference wanted to plan something more exciting and took the conference onboard a Royal Caribbean cruise that stopped at Coco Cay and Nassau.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism hosted the group for a full day of activities in Nassau and the guests were treated to an authentic taste of The Bahamas. Jeanie Gibson, General Manager of Global Communications, said the goal is to encourage the cruise visitors to come back and experience even more of the destination.
“We felt this would be a great opportunity to show these public relations executives, a taste of The Bahamas so that we can convert them from cruisers into stopover visitors. PRSA has a number of chapters with over 200,000 professionals. Their annual conference is normally in the United States but perhaps we can bring one of their other conferences down here such as the travel and tourism conference which hosts some 300 public relations and tourism professionals,” she said.
Bryan Campbell, Chairman of the 2017 PRSA Sunshine District Conference, said the relationship between The Bahamas and South Florida made it an easy decision to visit.
“The great relationships that South Florida districts and Miami have with The Bahamas just made it kind of a natural idea for us to come to The Bahamas, enjoy some time on the cruise and enjoy some time out here in beautiful Nassau. Being able to hear more of the history and understand more about the country, is allowing our people to have a better time while they’re here and working with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism on being able to gibe this information to our members is great,” Campbell said.
The PR professionals were treated to a mini-tour of Nassau stopping at Parliament Square, Paradise Island and Smugglers Restaurant where they watched a conch salad demonstration while getting to try the delicious delicacy, conch fritters and uniquely Bahamian beverages.
Bonnie Upright, Co-Chair of the conference said the feedback on the visit to Nassau has been incredible.
“We’ve had a number of people that have never been on a cruise before, we’ve got a number of people with us who have never been to The Bahamas before and so as a co-chair it’s exciting to not only offer professional development opportunities within the public relations profession but also talk about tourism, public relations industry and show people things they have never seen before.
A number of folks said they would like to come back and spend more time in The Bahamas. There was a relatively short tour of the island where we were able to get a taste of the island, get a taste of conch and try traditional beverages. I can’t say enough about how fantastic everyone has been and the feedback has been phenomenal,” Upright said while sipping a Goombay Punch.