#MMGYTravels: The “Buzz” at CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace
The Trip: CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace
Location: Atlantis Paradise Island, The Bahamas
Destination Highlight: Dinner and wine cellar tour at the Graycliff Hotel
Miles Traveled: 711
The Caribbean Hotel and Travel Association held its most important event last week in Paradise Island, Bahamas at The Atlantis. It is one of the best events all year for Caribbean suppliers and buyers to get together to negotiate deals, rates, and packages. I had an opportunity spend time with MMGY clients Bermuda Tourism Authority, Caradonna Dive Adventures, and many others. The prime minister of the Bahamas gave a fascinating talk about developments in the country, and we were feted to a fabulous feast, complete with a Jankanoo band and dancers.
The atypically cold, rainy weather aside, I was among the more fortunate attendees. Many of my friends and colleagues at the event were majorly impacted by the huge snowstorm in the Northeast last weekend and had to deal with cancelled flights, extended stays (which would have been fine if the weather was better!) and digging out cars buried in two feet of snow at the airports. Living in Orlando, I had a quick flight home and nary a flake to shovel upon my return.
The highlight of my trip was a dinner I attended at the Graycliff Hotel in Nassau, hosted by Bridal Guide magazine. Set in a historical manor house built in 1740, this exquisite little property boasts the third largest private wine collection in the world. Following dinner, we were treated to a private tour of the wine cellar, which boasts over 250,000 bottles, and the oldest and one of the most expensive bottles in the world from the year 1727. There was one wine rack that particularly interested me; one that houses bottles from before the turn of the 20th century, and valued at over a million dollars. As a wine enthusiast, my tour of these dusty, cobweb-coated bottles was a real treat.
Unfortunately, the low-point to this trip was learning about the new ZIKA virus that is impacting the Caribbean region in an unfortunate way. The CHTA has been forced to crank up their PR and media relations engines to combat the misinformation that is being spread by the media. The ministers of tourism are working around the clock to develop eradication and control protocols to eliminate the mosquitos that spread the virus, while dealing with cancellations and lost groups. We are watching this carefully as it may have a significant impact on our friends and clients in the region.
Take a look at a few photos from my #MMGYTravels below: