The much-anticipated Caribbean Travel Marketplace has opened with grand fanfare at the Grand Ballroom of the Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas.
The Bahamas laid out the red carpet in true Bahamian fashion.
Attendees were welcomed to the ceremony with a captivating performance from the Royal Bahamas Police Force Band and treated to a colourful display of cultural expression by the Colours Junkanoo Group as the night came to a close.
The master of ceremonies for the night was the 2016-2017 Caribbean and Bahamas junior minister of tourism, Gabriele Josephs.
Following the opening remarks, and special presentation from Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Rhythm & Youth Band gave a vivacious performance rousing the crowd to their feet as they gave the young performers a standing ovation.
Welcoming the attendees to The Bahamas was Carlton Russell, president of The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, who reminded them that relationships are key to advancing the Caribbean.
“We are delighted to have you here; we know how busy this business is.
“Thank you for choosing The Bahamas, thank you for choosing this forum to create new relationships, solidify and further develop existing alliances, partnerships and connections,” Russell said.
“While much has changed in the world, relationships and networking are still critical elements for the foundation, growth and stability of our industry.”
Colours Junkanoo Group wow crowds at the event
Troubetzkoy recognised that the travel marketplace was full of opportunities for all countries in the region.
“As we stand united to celebrate One Caribbean, we will have an opportunity to showcase to our valued buyers and members of the press the amazing diversity of our region that can indeed provide a lifetime source of different experiences,” she said.
Bahamas tourism minister, Obediah Wilchcombe, also touched briefly on one of the major themes of the marketplace.
“Today with the minister of tourism commissioners and heads of delegation we discussed the future of tourism in the Commonwealth, and the president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association just spoke of the relationship and the collaborative effort that must be made.
“Together we believe that we can continue to grow tourism in the region,” Wilchcombe said.
Organised in partnership with The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board, Paradise Island Tourism Development Association and The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, the Caribbean Travel Marketplace allows tourism suppliers to meet with sellers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation packages in a closed-door event over the course of two days in business meetings.
The Caribbean Travel Marketplace continues until February 2nd, 2017 with an exciting line-up of educational sessions, business appointments and networking opportunities.
Find out more on the official website.