The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism launched Destination Bahamas Jan. 14, a fully commissionable one-stop shopping service for booking travel to the Bahamas.
A dedicated toll-free number for agents at (800) 4-BAHAMAS is answered by trained travel consultants in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who can advise and book air, hotel, transfers and land tours in Nassau/Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island.
Deputy director general of tourism Vernice J. Walkine, speaking at the Caribbean Hotel Association`s Marketplace here, said that the service will be expanded to include the Out Islands by June.
A staff of 30 travel consultants has undergone three months of intensive training which included fam trips to the Bahamas. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Walkine said the center is equipped to handle 5,000 calls a day from agents.
Meanwhile, in conjunction with the launch of Destination Bahamas, a new ad campaign was introduced Jan. 14 on national cable networks, in sports markets, in print and radio in key U.S. markets. Walkine described the campaign as the Bahamas` “first national effort. It is a call to action that was accelerated by the events of Sept. 11 but one which we had already envisioned to promote the Bahamas on a nationwide basis.” The campaign has a budget of “several million dollars and will be a year-round effort,” Walkine said. In other Bahamas news at the conference, the Bahamas Getaway program has been extended through Feb. 14. Bookings will be accepted through Jan. 31 for travel through Feb. 14. The packages offer savings up to $150; participating carriers offer an additional $60 discount.