It’s Wedded In The Bahamas

with Martha Chapman

An impressive delegation from the Bahamas

Paul Strachan & Joy Jibrilu of the Ministry of Tourism

2 Junkanoo dancers brought a bit of colour to T.O.

Dale Pusching of Sun Resorts Marketing with the Bahamas’ Steven Johnson

Every now and again a tourism promotion comes along that’s so clever and effective it makes you smile. Think Air New Zealand connecting all things Hobbit with the world’s most watchable inflight video and other tie-ins to the NZ-filmed flick. Or Icelanders suggesting that when you’re researching a trip there, you replace Google with a local guy in their Ask Gudmundur campaign.

Good promotions work partly because they create a buzz themselves across all media platforms – and, fingers crossed, go viral.

Well, this one just may do that: Canada has been selected this year as the focus of the Bahamas 16 Weddings promotion. In a nutshell:  couples explore the many destination wedding options, both by vibes of the various islands and wedding styles. (Want a big event or will it be just the 2 of you? Are you a 5” heel type or more into flipflops?)

Then they submit a video/photo and brief smoochy essay about why they deserve to have their wedding hosted in the Bahamas. Judges choose the semi-finalists and on June 16th this year, the general public gets to vote, and the lucky 16 couples are announced. Then on November 16th, 2016, 16 couples will get married in 16 resorts on 14 islands.

“The romance market is of huge importance to us,” Joy Jibrilu, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism told a group of key stakeholders at a luncheon last week at Toronto’s tony Park Hyatt Hotel. “Last year they brought us 76,000 stopover visitors with an average spend of USD 1,475.”

No wonder the country was so pleased to receive the World’s Leading Wedding Destination award at the World Travel Awards last year.

This is the 3rd time the promotion will run (the 1st 2 were held in the U.K. and the U.S.). The Ministry of Tourism’s social media guru Andre Miller told me that 3,000 American couples participated last year. They’re hoping for even more from Canada in 2016.

Any agent with an interest in destination weddings should check out the site. It’s a great overview of the respective islands’ charms and selling features, wedding styles and options. And it may even inspire you (or your loved one) to pop the question!

(will not be published)