Patricia “Smiling Pat” Hoyte (in red blouse) with her mother, Mary Hoyte.
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Ministry of Tourism paid tribute to the deceased Patricia “Smiling Pat” Hoyte for the many years she has served in the tourism and entertainment industry in Grand Bahama.
In a press release, Tourism Director Betty Bethel said Mrs Hoyte was a true tourism ambassador and offered visitors a unique experience to Grand Bahama through her tour company, Smiling Pat’s Freeport Adventures.
Ms Hoyte’s unique tours attracted the attention of the international media along the way, including being featured on the Food Network on US television and the Ministry of Tourism’s Grand Bahama Island promotional video.
She has received favourable reviews from her customers on TripAdvisor.com.
Her involvement in tourism began in her childhood in the world famous International Bazaar, along with her siblings. She was the eldest child of noted musician and steel pan manufacturer, the late Leslie “Little Sparrow” Hoyte Sr, and his wife, Mary.
Ms Hoyte gained valuable experience working in the tourism sector for established tour operators in Freeport for 15 years, before establishing her own tour company.
“Her innovative approach to delivering destination experience included heritage and Treasure Island type adventures in McLean’s Town, East End, Sunset Village, Eight Mile Rock; and the settlement of West End,” the release said.
“An ever present tour guide on each adventure, she led her guests in unique activities, such as crab crawling, private Bahamian chef for the night, fish fry Cat Island style, banana boat rides, snorkelling, as well as sunset wine and cheese cruises, and church visitations.”
Although Ms Hoyte recently returned to her native Cat Island, the adventures continued through social media.
“Smiling Pat added social media marketing to her expertise. She transformed herself as an online tourism ambassador on social media, actively posting messages on Facebook, right up to the time of her passing. She was a beloved Bahamahost who will be sadly missed.”
Condolences were extended to the bereaved Hoyte family on behalf of Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and the Grand Bahama Tourist Office.