Cultural Tourism Secures New Advocate

By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer Islandz Art Tour, the locally owned tour company by young entrepreneur Jamie Lewis, is bringing cultural tourism to life, with a revamped downtown art tour. Every Saturday, participants are exposed to Bahamian art and education, and historical landmarks in downtown Nassau. The walking tour features a gallery hop with participating spaces such as: the National Art Gallery, D'Aguilar Art Foundation, Hillside House, and the Love My Bahamas murals. Discussion is welcomed after the tour. "The groups are small and intimate, and the tour is fun. It is a very positive experience. The geographical location of all of the galleries lends itself to the tour," said Mr Lewis. "We have tour guides who are well versed and know a great deal about Bahamian art. Usually people on the tour make comments and engage in discussion about the artwork and the galleries. It adds to the goodness of the tour when people are talking," he said. Islandz Art Tour was formerly Downtown Art Tours. Now under new management, the company is looking to add something new to the experience. "We took over from Downtown Art Tours and we have very strong relationships with all of the galleries. We would like to develop relationships with Central Bank to also make it part of the tour. This would have to be done through the week as Central Bank does not open on weekends. Another thing we are looking to do is our dine and design package where we will partner with Via Cafe to add a meal along with the tour. Once our business grows we will be able to tap into other demands," said Mr Lewis. During the tour, participants are encouraged to purchase art on the spot. "We want to eventually get into merchandising the pieces in the galleries. For instance a person on tour might see a piece of work that they like and want to purchase it. On the tour they can actually have that piece of merchandise and take it back with them," he said. Mr Lewis said he is hoping interest amongst Bahamian will be stimulated by the new service. "We think this will stimulate an interest in art in the Bahamas. When people know that they can go to view several different galleries as opposed to going by themselves to one gallery it will get them interested. We can act as a catalyst for persons who just want to know more about what is going in the art world here. Hopefully we will be able to build something Bahamians can be proud of," he said. So far tours are running according to plan. They start at 10am and 1pm on Saturdays.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment