MIAMI, Florida - The 4th Annual International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit culminated this Saturday, July 29, in Miami Florida, with a key note address from the Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar. During his keynote address, he recognizes the importance of the African American Market and proposes initiatives to penetrate that niche.
The summit was designed to educate attendees on how to gain a share in the $90 Billion+ Multicultural & Heritage Tourism market, share minority travel trends and learn how to market the fastest growing segment in the industry, which is Multicultural & Heritage Tourism. It included workshops and panels, some of which included key persons from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Linville Johnson, Deputy Director of Business Development – African American Market, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, who was also a panelist at the summit, expressed how crucial it is for this market to see the Bahamas’ presence at such events, as it builds faith in the brand.
"This market is very important to our tourism industry because we have a shared affinity for heritage and culture. African-Americans primarily travel in groups for reunions, fraternal, religious, and civic events, conferences and meetings," Johnson said. He added that the Bahamas is now a member of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and developers. The Association ( NABHOOD) provides information about hotel ownership, investing, supplier opportunities and other resources.
The Bahamas is committed to the continued growth of this market and D’Aguilar alongside his ministry will continue to build mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders, corporate decision makers and leaders in key community based organization such as sororities, fraternities and social clubs. The Bahamas will also increase advertising in key African American magazines and digital platforms and develop sponsorship and branded special events in key markets in an effort to reach more business and leisure travelers.
"Our heightened focus on the African American travel market comes at an opportune time when The Bahamas tourism product is being holistically re-calibrated, overhauled and fine-tuned. There are particularly five areas of product improvement that will make The Bahamas particularly attractive to the African American Market," D’Aguilar said.
He went on to say, "The growth of our tourism business is best achieved through expanding our niche markets. For us, the African American travel market is a highly attractive market segment. The Bahamas has been a choice destination where African Americans have been coming for years, to rest, relax and rejuvenate. We will continue to work on all fronts to maintain a very desirable tourism product and to pay close attention to those areas of our product mix that appeal to the African American market".
The Bahamas has already committed to several key partnerships with the African American community including a media partnership with Black Enterprise, which will host its first offshore event called the Women of Power Weekend Retreat in Bimini in October 2017.
Membership with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP), participation in the Black Caucus week of events held in Washington D.C. and the partnership with Radio One to reach the African American audience via radio in key markets such as Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Los Angeles and Miami/Fort Lauderdale will all continue