06 MAY 2019: The Islands Of The Bahamas are having a record-breaking year and there is no end in sight. The latest Canadian visitation numbers to the beautiful islands of the Bahamas shows a double digit spike.

Tourism figures released by the government ministry indicate a 14.4 percent increase in Canadian visitors due to new developments like the opening in Nassau of the Baha Mar in 2017.

But how much hotter and spicier can The Bahamas get for Canadian clientele?

Fly Away Star Factor Judging by the launch of the hot, sizzling new brand campaign aptly dubbed Fly Away, Bahamas Tourism brass are turning their sights and sounds to their new brand ambassador: Lenny Kravitz.

The rock legend whose song Fly Away can be heard in the campaign videos garnered a Grammy-Award for the legendary tune. Conceived and recorded in The Bahamas this Rock'n'Roll anthem celebrates the adrenaline rush and escape to Bahamas, sentiments officials hope will attract wide audiences.

“He has that cool hip vibe that appeals to a broad audience,” explains Paul Strachan, Senior Director of the Bahamas Tourist Office in Canada in an interview with Travel Industry Today describing the new refresh to appeal to Canadians. Canada is the sun destination's second largest source market.

Kravitz themes

Tourism officials who flew in from The Bahamas and their invited guests from the travel trade and media gathered on the the 43rd floor of the hip Bisha Hotel which has its own Kravitz connection.  Attendants would experience island teasers and preview the new brand campaign led by TV commercials and other marketing materials. Night club kingpin and Bisha Hotel owner Charles Khabouth has a curated collection of Lenny Kravitz-designed suites, making this luxe venue the ideal spot to kick-off the Canadian marketing launch.

With the skyline shimmering in city lights all eyes turned to the mega wall video screen to view some of the newly released videos. We saw Kravitz hanging out in the laid-back island of Eleuthera with locals, riding the waves in his speedboat, and driving past what is arguably the narrowest place on earth, the Glass Window Bridge. This sliver wide roadway sharply separates the calm azure Caribbean Sea from the mighty Atlantic Ocean and is a sight to behold. See full Lenny Kravitz Fly Away video. 

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar told Travel Industry Today the partnership with the musical star was a natural fit. “His mother (Bahamian-American actress Roxie Roker) and grandparents are from The Bahamas. He spent a lot of time in Nassau and Eleuthera,” he says and when he is not touring, he calls Eleuthera his home.

Bahamas: More than 1 Sun Destination

Fly Away, adds Director General Joy Jibrilu is to tell the story of 16 islands. “We offer so much and so many reasons for visitors to return to the Bahamas time and time again,” she told the audience listing islands from the well known Paradise Island and Abacos, Andros and Exhumas among others. Bahamas is an archipelago of over 700 cays, and islets, which includes 16 unique island destinations.

The Minister further highlighted how The Bahamas is not one single destination. “It is 16 different destinations and I always say if you want a Caribbean holiday you need look no further than The Bahamas,” he noted of the rich diversity that positions each island with its own unique culture, unique history and unique feel. “That is how we differentiate ourselves ... we are 16 destinations.”

The Fly Away videos highlight two locals from the beautiful island of Eleuthera doing what they do best. Captain Ryan is a local marine operator cruising the waves in his boat and talking about fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving and chartering boats for island hopping.

Another Bahamian named Lady Di is a local legend and beloved pineapple farmer whose knack for storytelling in Eleuthera has made her a social media sensation. In Fly Away she shares tips on how to spot the finest pineapples. See video.

Bahamas has been ranked number one in the world for the Instagram hashtag, #nofilter also boasts best fishing, diving and boating in the world.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation which officially kicked-off its Canadian campaign last Thursday with a US version launch held earlier this year provided a fun-filled evening full of prize give-aways, great food, and crafted cocktails from award-winning Bahamian mixologist Marv Cunningham including a heavy-handed drum-beating solo from a junkanoo drummer.

While Kravitz who couldn't join the fete due to his world tour (he was in Macedonia) his pre-taped remarks were with us.

“It's an honour of representing my country and home in The Bahamas and I am proud to share the beauty, the nature, and the culture of the islands to the world. Have a great time,” he said with an emotive sign-off, “I wish you peace.”

For more details on Fly Away campaign

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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