Outgoing president promises ‘smooth transition’


Fred Lounsberry


Tribune Business Reporter


THE Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board  will have new leadership with its outgoing president promising a “smooth transition,” to keep the momentum going.

 Fred Lounsberry, told Tribune Business that despite him stepping down as president of the NPIPB he will remain on the board for a period of time and assist with the smooth transition to the incoming president, former Director General of Tourism, Joy Jibrilu.

 Mr Lounsberry said: “Over the next few months as we are heading into Q4 a lot of things are ready. Moving forward we have a number of the big travel industry events coming up with Roots, which we will see all of the airline partners and IMEX, those all take the whole month of October and just make sure we have a smooth transition into the new year.

“We have a lot of momentum going and the feeling by all parties was we need to keep the momentum going.”

The tourism momentum is picking up as this year, the first full tourism year without COVID-19 lockdowns or restrictions to travel, is on pace to seeing near 6m visitors if trends remain constant.

 Mr Lounsberry said about this strong showing for tourism, “I think the pent up demand is definitely a factor. There’s no question people were ready to travel and they couldn’t wait to travel and they want to get back to living the way they lived.”

 Things at the NPIPB are “pretty much back to normal” from the 2020/2021 COVID-19 shutdown of the tourism industry as the board is getting its key messaging back on track, he said.

 “Like everyone, we had layoffs and furloughs and we had to go into survival mode to be ready for when tourism really came back because nobody knew when it was coming back.”

 Looking forward to 2023 the NPIPB needs to “get aggressive” because as tourism picks up around the Caribbean and other destinations begin to open up, marketing efforts for The Bahamas need to match those of its competitors and even be better.

“Pent up demand only lasts so long. That’s why they call it pent up demand. It does run out after a while. But we have so much going for us, we have great air service, great proximity and I think people think it’s safer because it is close to home,” Mr Lounsberry added.

 He also said: “Although I think the safety issue is fading away, but the destination is much different than it was 10 years ago and I think we are positioned for a long stretch of really strong business.”

 Despite the concerns in the country’s major source market in the US, flights are picking up as Virgin will now increase their flights to the country to four flights a week. In addition the Thanksgiving and Christmas bookings are looking particularly strong.

 With regard to the NPIPB’s website tracking: “We have seen strong performance right up into this summer. This is a time of year when it drops in demand as school starts and there’s this little dip. But we start to ramp up in September and we will be on par or on the same level we were in in 2019.”


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

Sign in to comment