By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
BAHA MAR executives are trying to position the mega resort as a “truly international destination”, its chief marketing officer telling Tribune Business that a significant amount of marketing dollars was being pumped into its North American campaign.
Denise Godreau told Tribune Business: “We want to position Baha Mar as a truly international destination, but we obviously know that the largest feeder for the Bahamas comes from North America.
“We will put a significant amount of our marketing efforts into the key cities where we have direct airlift, and we’re also working along with the Airport Authority, Atlantis and the Promotions Board on increasing the number of flights that come to the Bahamas.
“So, as we penetrate more cities that have direct flights, we will increase our marketing efforts in those cities. We’re working together to do that so that the entire destination benefits.”
Ms Godreau added: “We are also looking at markets that are growing, like South America, Brazil specifically, and also in the European markets that are also growing, not only the UK and France but also Russia. We are also talking to air operators from those markets to bring flights to the Bahamas.
“Due to the relationship that we have with the Chinese financing and the Chinese construction company, we are seriously looking at Asia and bringing tourism from those markets. We’re really looking all over the world with a significant amount of our dollars still being based in North America.”
Ms Godreau said the $2.6 billion resort was receiving a “warm reception” ahead of its scheduled December 2014 opening. “We are getting a very warm reception from people that have not been in the Bahamas for a while,” she said.
“We’re getting a lot of positive feedback. The Hyatt has already started to book groups in our convention centre, so that’s very exciting for us that we’re already getting contracts to say we’re coming in 2015.”
Ms Godreau said Baha Mar was looking to attract all travel groups. “We’re obviously looking at large conventions and incentive groups. We’re also going to be getting into weddings. That’s a big business in the Bahamas, and it’s also very big business for a premium luxury resort like Rosewood,” she added.
“They’re very well known for very high-end weddings, and they’re every excited about what the Baha Mar campus looks like and the opportunities they’re going to have to do extraordinary weddings.
“We’re also going to look at casino host groups. On the leisure market we’re obviously looking at the market that loves sand and sea, markets that are accustomed to coming to the Bahamas but might have been skipping the Bahamas in the last few years because they felt they had been there and done that. I think that Baha Mar is going to put the Bahamas back into the conversation.”