Another Misguided Tourism Scheme?


The Islands of The BahamasJeffrey Todd’s Nassau Guardian article on the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to rebrand the individual Family Islands gets right off on a bad start.

“Although Nassau is one of the biggest tourism gateways on the planet…”

Well Jeffrey, it isn’t.  Nassau may be the biggest gateway in The Bahamas, maybe even one of the biggest in the Caribbean, but it is certainly not one of the biggest on the planet.

According to Wikipedia, the top destinations are:

Rank Country International tourist arrivals
1 France 76.80 million
2 United States 59.75 million
3 China 55.67 million
4 Spain 52.68 million
5 Italy 43.63 million
6 United Kingdom 28.13 million
7 Turkey 27.00 million
8 Germany 26.88 million
9 Malaysia 24.58 million
10 Mexico 22.40 million
11 Canada 16.10 million

At that rate, The Bahamas would be way down on the list and Nassau would be dwarfed by some of the major cities in those countries.

Good gracious, even Florida tourism – with over 70 million tourists per year – dwarfs The Bahamas.

But that is neither here nor there.  The focus of this post has to do with the Ministry’s rebranding efforts.

According to the Guardian article, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has launched a rebranding campaign to create distinct logos, identities and visible marketing campaigns for the individual Family Islands.

We think the plan is misguided.

Here are three reasons why we feel that way.

1. Marketing the Family Islands individually tends to dilute precious marketing funds.

2. With Atlantis’ post-reorganization success dependant on performance, Baha Mar adding 1500 rooms and cruise visitors the only real growth in Bahamian tourism, it would seem that it is Nassau/Paradise Island that needs the extra push.

3. Despite what tourism officials and some Bahamians think, most non-Bahamians would agree that there is little difference between the individual Family Islands in terms of vacation experiences.

The plan appears to be prompted by a U.S. ad agency that wants to create more work for themselves. We sometimes wonder if anybody at MOT has any marketing experience in the real world.

What do you think?  Please comment below.

2 thoughts on “Another Misguided Tourism Scheme?

  1. FYI – How can Florida have 70 million visitors and the US in general have 59.75 million… I think you need to clarify that the number when referring to Florida is not in fact an international tourism number but includes visitors from within the US.

  2. Haha, yes, I should have clarifed that. Thanks Grouper. The entire US gets just under 60 million INTERNATIONAL tourists per year, while Florida’s 70 million mostly come from within the U.S.. Sadly, it is Flordia that the Bahamas is actually competing with for those American dollars. If only more of those 70 million would go 1/2 hour further.

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