Over the course of four days, the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s (MOTA) People-to-People Department officially launched its recruitment programme on Grand Bahama Island.
The programme, which included information on the People-to-People Department, a meet and greet, an entertaining and etiquette class, service excellence presentation and recruitment drive were all in an effort to secure additional Bahamian ambassadors to assist in the facilitation of international exchange.
As the department has been in existence for over four decades, it has been a goal to continuously re-establish and expand the possibilities of the most unique department within the ministry.
Senior Manager of People-to-People, Bernadette Bastian noted that it’s imperative to bring the Grand Bahama Island division of the programme up to speed with that of New Providence.
As a result of the success of their programme, many visitors who participate and are matched with an ambassador, leave the islands with unforgettable experiences as well as a new family friend.
Because these visitors eventually share their experiences and make the shift from day trippers to both repeat and stop over visitors, Bastian said, “The people influenced to come to The Bahamas (as a result) is priceless and we can only say thank you to you who have been (participating) and those who will now start.”
Due to the exercise, officials are hoping to have a significant amount of growth within the department in the coming year.
Karen Seymour, Director, MOTA, GBI, said, “The rebranding of the People-to-People is in line with the renaissance of Grand Bahama Island and so we’re hoping to revitalize not just the island, but the whole product and the People-to-People Programme is a part of that.”
She added, “The People-to-People Programme is a signature Ministry of Tourism programme and for many years now it’s been somewhat stagnant, and this rebranding program has just put an injection of energy into the programme where we want to bring it up to date and encourage more volunteers and visitors to participate.”
During the workshop, participants were not only given tools to become great ambassadors but the opportunity to take part in a photo shoot which would highlight their hosting’s and accomplishments on the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation’s website.
As an added feature, visitors wishing to have a People-To-People experience will now be able to view a photo and short biography about the ambassador they are paired with.
Bastian expressed that this now will add to the customization aspect of the experience, as guests will already feel connected to both the island and to their host prior to arrival.
At the conclusion of the exercise, a total of 14 ambassadors joined the People-to-People program (GBI) in addition to the 59 ambassadors currently involved in the program.
For those interested in learning more about People-to-People or becoming an ambassador contact the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation at 350-8600.