Friday, May 31, 2019

Orlando Travel Agents Enjoy Preview of Freeport, Bahamas in the Summertime

BTO Sales team L-R Betty Bethel Moss, Director of Sales, Florida_ Elke Pettiford, Inside Sales C0-ordinator_ Tina Lee, District Manager_ Adrian Kemp and Phylia Shivers Sr. Marketing Representatives

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – May 27, 2019 – The magic city of Orlando recently came alive with the sounds of Bahamas Junkanoo, a part of the cultural extravaganza on display at the ‘Summertime in Freeport’ presentation of The Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) Florida, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.

The fun-filled event featured a B2B networking opportunity with tourism vendors from Freeport, followed by an informative presentation delivered in a lively talk show format.  The presentation was followed by a delicious sit-down meal complete with Bahamian dinner music, and the evening was rounded off with the unique, rhythmic sounds of Bahamian premier entertainment, Junkanoo.

The energy of the evening was fueled by the enthusiasm and acceptance of the travel agents.   Sue Jeske of Finding Paradise With Sue said she was excited to learn more about Freeport.

“As travel agents, we think we know everything, but when we go and explore these different events, it always gives us something new to take back to our clients,” she said. 

At right Della Bridgewater of Pelican Bay Hotel with travel agent

Inocencia Chisolm of Signature Cruise and Travel/Travelution said she is excited about selling Freeport, Grand Bahama to her clients.

“Grand Bahama is a great place to visit. It is not all about the beaches, it is about the food, the culture, the people and I would suggest that if you have not visited Grand Bahama as yet this is a great time for you to do it. Summer is just around the corner and this is a great time for you and your family to take an amazing trip,” she said.

A highlight of the night were the many prize giveaways donated by Bahamas Tourist Office partners from Freeport including accommodations, transportation and activities. Partners at the event included representatives from The Pelican Bay Hotel, Flamingo Bay and Taino Beach Resorts, Freeport.  Also, Bahamasair, Silver Airways, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and Balearia Caribbean Ferry, modes of transportation to the Island.  Mr. Don Churchill of Doncar Management, was in attendance to represent The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board.

Director of Sales for Florida Betty Bethel-Moss, who is a former Director of The Bahamas Tourist Office Grand Bahama, said she was thrilled to sell the destination to travel agents.

“We zoomed in on exactly what would sell in Grand Bahama,” she said. “There are over 40 attractions, there are cultural festivals and of course beautiful beaches. The travel agents gave us lots of energy. The whole purpose of this initiative is to drive business this summer and the travel agents have responded. We are already getting calls from previous events and so we are very pleased with their energy.”

Don Churchill of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board with travel agent

The current Director of Grand Bahama Tourist Office, Karen Seymour told the agents that there are over 40 beaches in Grand Bahama and over 40 activities on land and sea.  She said “This was an opportunity for us to get in the market with our sales team and let people know what is going on in Grand Bahama Island,” she said.  “For this summer, we have both Goombay Summer Festival and Junkanoo Summer Festival. There is something to do from east to west in Grand Bahama.”

The BTO team also spoke about the Bahamas Travel Agent Specialist Program that provides incentives for travel agents who sell The Islands Of The Bahamas and about the   travel agent familiarization trips to Grand Bahama from the Florida area,  starting in June.

Deputy Director General of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation,  Ellison Thompson was in attendance and said overall of the night that it was  impressive.

“It’s been a great evening presenting to the travel agents. I think they were really impressed by the quality of the event,” he said. “It’s important that the travel agents understand The Bahamas and understand that we are not just one island, we are a number of islands. Part of our job is to teach the travel agents the geography of The Bahamas. Thirty-three percent of our business comes from travel agents and we have to make sure that we are cultivating and growing that business.”

For more information on The Bahamas visit us at

Bahamasair, Silver Airlines and Balearia

 Valery Brown-Alce, Don Churchill and Karen Seymour

L-R Betty Bethel-Moss with Bahamas Tourism's Deputy Director General, Ellison 'Tommy' Thompson on set of Summertime in Freeport Orlando