Friday, November 22, 2019
TORONTO Not many people know that theres another Lady Di living and working in The Bahamas, not royal by any means like the British princess, but just as loved and revered by her country.
As one of Eleutheras finest pineapple farmers, Mrs. Diane Thompson, affectionately known on the island as Lady Di, is considered a national treasure, both for her 40-plus-year career and her infectiously sunny outlook on life. Despite losing her husband last year and the backbreaking work that comes with running a successful farm, Thompson never considered giving it up, working long hours to plant the stalks, turn the soil and make the jams and chutney with help from her son.
From l-r: Alvin Smith, The Bahamas High Commissioner to Canada; Dionisio DAguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation; Joy Jibrilu; Ellison Tommy Thompson; and Fred Lounsberry, CEO, Nassau Paradise Island Promotion Board
It is this resilience, shared by so many Bahamians, that has served the island well in recent weeks. After Hurricane Dorian made landfall in northern Bahamas on Sept. 1, bringing with it 48 hours of 300-kilometre winds and rain, the people of The Bahamas have had their will and spirit tested like never before. But like Lady Di, they are steadfast in their resilience to overcome challenges and are well on their way to recovery.
This message was made clear at a media briefing hosted by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism at Torontos Hotel X yesterday. Speaking to both trade and consumer media, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation Dionisio DAguilar emphasized the fact that despite the devastation that Dorian brought to the north, much of The Bahamas was left untouched.
When you look at a map of The Bahamas you quickly discover that it is an archipelago, a group of 700 islands 16 of which we actively promote and 2,500 cays that spans almost 1,000 kilometres, he said. Hurricane Dorian, with a diameter of just 125 kilometres, only struck our two northernmost islands Abaco and Grand Bahama. But thankfully it left the rest of the country almost 90% of it completely unscathed, untouched and not in any way impacted by the storm.
Popular destinations like Nassau, Paradise Island, Exuma and Bimini were all spared and remained open to tourists. But the ripple effects of Dorian extended far beyond the northern islands, with media coverage of its aftermath impacting the whole of the country.
Dionisio DAguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation
As a result, visitation saw a near immediate decline, said DAguilar. Prior to Sept. 1, The Bahamas was coming off a historic year in 2018, with stopover visitor arrivals up 17% over 2017, and those from Canada up a very respectful 14%. This momentum was maintained in the first eight months of 2019, when total visitation saw another 13% increase over the same period in 2018. From Canada, visitor arrivals was up another 10%, complemented by a 7% increase in air capacity.
But then Dorian hit, and September arrivals from Canada dropped by 15%. October is projected to fare even worse with another 5% dip. And when you consider the fact that well over 50% of The Bahamas GDP comes from the tourism industry, and that two out of every three Bahamians are employed by the tourism sector, any drop in visitation has a major impact on one of the most tourism-dependent countries in the world.
Pleading with the audience, DAguilar said: My reason for being here is to seek your assistance in reversing that decline and recognizing that its not business as usual in The Bahamas that will be years away. But tourism business goes on and it is crucial as we go forward. We simply cannot get to success without our tourism industry continuing as a strong driver of our economy.
Joy Jibrilu, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, also stressed the importance of moving forward without forgetting those most impacted by the storm.
While we dont want to forget, we have to balance the needs of the Abaco Islands and the east end of Grand Bahama particularly, with the fact that business must continue, she said. She praised global relief efforts, thanking those whove contributed their time, money and materials, and was excited to announce that their efforts have paid off.
Many homes and businesses were destroyed, but just two months after the storm Grand Bahama is open for business, welcoming travellers back to its hotels and resorts, its cruise terminal and airport. And while it will take a much longer period for Abaco to rebound, with Grand Bahama back on stream we are so happy we can say that not 14, but 15 islands are ready to welcome you, she said.
Jibrilu is encouraging travellers to come back to the capital of Nassau, where 80% of visitors start their vacations, as well as to Exuma, comprised of 365 cays, one for every day of the year. With direct flights to Nassau available with Air Canada Rouge, WestJet and Sunwing, and one to Exuma from Toronto with Air Canada Vacations, both destinations are easily accessible for Canadians. Those looking to travel by boat can also take advantage of cruise and hotel packages with Bahamas Cruise Line, which sails to The Bahamas from Palm Beach, Florida.
The destinations many offerings are highlighted beautifully in the Ministrys new brand campaign, which DAguilar described as edgy and soulful. Using the hashtag #BahamasStrong, the campaign, comprised of a series of promotional videos, is based on the Grammy award-winning song Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz, who, coincidentally, is the neighbour of none other than Lady Di. Kravitz, whose mother was Bahamian and who gets his pineapples fresh from Lady Di each morning, has lived in Eleuthera for the past 32 years.
Bahamians are very unique people, theyre very hospitable, theyre warm and theyre really funny with a great sense of humour, said Kravitz in a promotional interview. After hard times, after struggle, we come together and we celebrate its just the Bahamian thing to do. I guess the right word for it is resilience.
See the original post here:
- US citizens urged to leave now - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- Carmelo Anthony: LeBron James saved my life during trip to Bahamas - syracuse.com - March 31st, 2020
- Caribbean Moment: A Perfect Sandbar in The Bahamas - Caribbean Journal - March 31st, 2020
- Luxury bunkers and private islands how the rich are self-isolating from the coronavirus - CNBC - March 31st, 2020
- New case of COVID-19 in Grand Bahama - Bahamas Tribune - March 31st, 2020
- Report: 600 being tracked in The Bahamas for signs of COVID-19 - Bahamas Tribune - March 31st, 2020
- Bahamas Striping donates protective gear to help combat COVID-19 - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- More than 700 COVID-19 cases in the region - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- UPDATED: Fifth case of COVID-19 is in Grand Bahama - Bahamas Tribune - March 31st, 2020
- Bahamas native named UCF president - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- Johnson warns Immigration permits at stake for breach of COVID-19 orders - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- One More Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and Amendments to the Bahamas Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Dashboard - The Eleutheran - March 31st, 2020
- Nearly $15 million of $20 million small business loan programme requested to-date - EyeWitness News - March 31st, 2020
- MFA advice to Bahamian Nationals abroad and Foreign Nationals in country after Bahamas border closure - The Eleutheran - March 31st, 2020
- Bahamas | Facts, History & News - March 5th, 2020
- Inside Kylie Jenners Lavish Bahamas Vacation Rental - Architectural Digest - March 5th, 2020
- Storm-ravaged Bahamas rebuilding its power grid with emphasis on solar energy - 60 Minutes - CBS News - March 5th, 2020
- Bahamas Races Ahead With Its 'Sand Dollar' Digital Currency - Bitcoinist - March 5th, 2020
- Beautiful Bimini: A Photo Guide to the Tiny Island in the Bahamas - TravelPulse - March 5th, 2020
- Bahamas and Bologna Go On the Offensive to Battle Coronavirus Concerns - TravelPulse Canada - March 5th, 2020
- Two charged in connection with murder on Grand Bahama - Bahamas Tribune - March 5th, 2020
- Media in the Digital Age Bahamas Press Club Stages Awards Ceremony - Magnetic Media - March 5th, 2020
- Bahamas braves the elements on mainline trip - Keighley News - March 5th, 2020
- First Solar To Grid In Ragged Island makes '60 Minutes' Appearance - Magnetic Media - March 5th, 2020
- Lemon Shark Gets a Snout Rub by Conservationist in the Bahamas - Yahoo News UK - March 5th, 2020
- Kylie Jenner shows off her new 'bronde' locks in the Bahamas - Goss.ie - March 5th, 2020
- Govt. working on transition to cashless society - EyeWitness News - March 5th, 2020
- Americares to expand Bahamas health care programs - The Advocate - February 21st, 2020
- Banyan Tree to Open Resort With Overwater Bungalows in The Bahamas - Caribbean Journal - February 21st, 2020
- Bahamas Estate Once Home to the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson Hits the Market - Mansion Global - February 21st, 2020
- Former Bahamas Home Of The Duke Of Windsor And Wallis Simpson Goes On The Market - Forbes - February 21st, 2020
- Ecumenical Gathering with the NCC USA at Annunciation GOC in Bahamas - All Archdiocese News - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - February 21st, 2020
- Grant Williams vacationed with Carsen Edwards, others in the Bahamas - The Rookie Wire - February 21st, 2020
- AIBT & BFSB Joint Response The Bahamas Off The EU Blacklist - Mondaq News Alerts - February 21st, 2020
- Joe Giudice Dances to Milania's Song While Partying in the Bahamas (VIDEO) - Bravo - February 21st, 2020
- DPM: Bahamas has already satisfied over 30 of 40 FATF recommendations - EyeWitness News - February 21st, 2020
- OECD tax demands may 'devastate the economy' - Bahamas Tribune - February 21st, 2020
- Ministry Of Finance Statement: European Union Removes The Bahamas From Tax Watchlist - Mondaq News Alerts - February 21st, 2020
- Senior Bahamas Tourism Executive Receives Recognition Award from Premier Faith-Based Trade Association - South Florida Caribbean News - February 21st, 2020
- FIBA qualifier: Bahamas will have 10 players against Mexico - Bahamas Tribune - February 21st, 2020
- First look at Disneys new private island Lighthouse Point in the Bahamas - The Irish Sun - February 21st, 2020
- PM: Govt. will aggressively defend borders against illegal migration - EyeWitness News - February 21st, 2020
- Removal from the EU's Tax Watch List Confirms The Bahamas Has Implemented Necessary Reforms - Magnetic Media - February 21st, 2020
- Junior sailors take advantage of the 7th annual Youth Olympic Regatta - Bahamas Tribune - February 21st, 2020
- Airbnb is offering five people a free 2-month 'sabbatical' in the Bahamas - CNBC - January 30th, 2020
- Airbnb is sending 5 people on a 2-month 'sabbatical' to the Bahamas - Business Insider - Business Insider - January 30th, 2020
- Airbnb Wants to Send You on a Sabbatical to the Bahamas - msnNOW - January 30th, 2020
- World News Media Looks at How Financial Services in The Bahamas are Changing in the Latest Issue of World Finance - Yahoo Finance - January 30th, 2020
- Live in The Bahamas for two months with this Airbnb sabbatical - Leicestershire Live - January 30th, 2020
- Airbnb is offering a trip to the Bahamas and it's completely free - Mirror Online - January 30th, 2020
- The United States and The Bahamas Sign Air Transport Agreement - South Florida Caribbean News - January 30th, 2020
- Dream jobs: Airbnb is offering a sustainable sabbatical in The Bahamas - Stylist Magazine - January 30th, 2020
- From The Bahamas to Antigua, the Caribbean's Best Historic Hotels - Caribbean Journal - January 27th, 2020
- Jack Nicklaus' New Residence Club Is Coming to The Bahamas - Caribbean Journal - January 27th, 2020
- Society-Wide Effort Needed to Elevate Skill Levels to Global Norms, says Bahamas Education Minister - Magnetic Media - January 27th, 2020
- Bahamas back as 'least corrupt in the Caribbean' - Bahamas Tribune - January 27th, 2020
- Family Hotel in St Lucia Helps Family Islands in Bahamas - St. Lucia News From The Voice St. Lucia - The Voice St. Lucia - January 27th, 2020
- Team Bahamas 6th overall - Bahamas Tribune - January 27th, 2020
- Bahamas Defence Force investigates bodies washed ashore near Ragged Island - Magnetic Media - January 27th, 2020
- Transparency International: The Bahamas least corrupt in region - Loop News Barbados - January 27th, 2020
- Larry Birkhead Wishes He Went to Bahamas Before Anna Nicole Smith Died: 'She'd Still Be Here' - FOX10 News - January 18th, 2020
- Sea level rise threat to 15% of Bahamas' GDP - Bahamas Tribune - January 18th, 2020
- NexTech AR Solutions CEO Gappelberg to pitch company at investor confab in Bahamas - Proactive Investors USA & Canada - January 18th, 2020
- Bahamas 'top of the heap' before Dorian - Bahamas Tribune - January 18th, 2020
- A Travel Guide To The Bahamas: 15 Things Not To Miss Out On - TheTravel - January 18th, 2020
- Just Under Half the Value of Hurricane Dorian Losses and Damage in The Bahamas is Pledged for Recovery Efforts - Caribbean360.com - January 18th, 2020
- Bahamas travel guide: All the things to do and not miss out on at these Carribean islands - Republic World - Republic World - January 18th, 2020
- Gainey wins The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic - SCNow - January 16th, 2020
- Gainey takes third-round lead at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic - pgatour.com - January 16th, 2020
- Bahamas Government 'considering its options' for Freeport Grand Bahama International Airport - CAPA - Centre for Aviation - January 16th, 2020
- Supplies to be donated to the Bahamas | Featured Content - Suncoast News - January 16th, 2020
- Three Rescued from Sinking Tug Off Andros Island, Bahamas - The Maritime Executive - January 16th, 2020
- The 21st-ranked Gators open up season in the Bahamas - The Independent Florida Alligator - January 16th, 2020
- Columbus' Claims of Cannibal Raids May Have Been True After All - Livescience.com - January 16th, 2020
- United Airlines pilots mark bar mitzvah, dance with rabbi post-landing in Bahamas - JNS.org - January 16th, 2020
- RBC regional exec: Bank is committed to The Bahamas long term - EyeWitness News - January 16th, 2020
- House Hunting in the Bahamas: Comfort on the Waters of Nassau - The New York Times - December 18th, 2019
- The Bahamas Is Recovering From One Of The Strongest Atlantic Hurricanes On Record - Its Hard - Forbes - December 18th, 2019
- Chronic Disease, Injuries, and Mental Health Issues: The Bahamas' Challenging Future - Direct Relief - December 18th, 2019
- Grand Bahama Island still struggling to recover more than three months after Hurricane Dorian - ABC Action News - December 18th, 2019