THE Bahamas was the only international destination represented and presenting at the recent National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals (NCBMP) conference under the theme Focused and Empowered.
Dr Kenneth Romer, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation’s executive director of product quality and support, told the 400 meeting planners in attendance about the impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in The Bahamas and the recovery strategy that is being implemented.
The session was moderated by TV and radio host Greg Davis, and the other panelists included Lieutenant-Governor Kate Marshall of Nevada and Harold Moses Love Jr, state representative of Tennessee.
“I would like to thank chairman Jason Dunn and the executives of the NCBMP for their invitation to be a part of this town hall meeting panel, and for the opportunity to directly address a group of professionals whose partnership we, in The Bahamas, highly value, and whose partnership is key to the sustainable growth of the groups business, one of the most important growth sectors of our destination’s tourism portfolio,” said Dr Romer.
Historically a top destination for African-American visitors, The Bahamas is continuing to enhance its cultural product.
Dornell Watson-Dean, the Ministry’s group sales manager for diversity & SMERF (social, military, education, religious and fraternal) groups - North America, said: “The African-American planners’ high interest in The Bahamas product stems from The Bahamas’ long-standing ties with African-Americans; the country’s hassle-free border formalities and the eagerness of Bahamian hoteliers to work with planners to facilitate seamless conferences and conventions away from the American mainland.”
The conference, which annually attracts African-American planners and suppliers from across the US, featured powerful presentations by top speakers including an address from MMGY Global on Black Travel reporting that black leisure travellers spent $109.4bn on travel in 2019. Other conference events included educational, health and wellness break-out sessions.
The National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organisation whose primary focus is the training needs of African-American meeting planners. The organisation has 400 members, including meeting planners from numerous business, civil rights, church and fraternal organisations. The Bahamas has been affiliated with the NCBMP for the past 20 years.