NEW YORK: The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism has brought on Weber Shandwick as PR AOR to provide communications support in the U.S. and Canada, as well as project work in the U.K. and Latin America.
Weber had an 18-year history with the Ministry, which ended in 2013 when it dropped the agencies it was working with around the world because of "budget restructuring issues," explained Alice Diaz, EVP of Weber’s travel and lifestyle practice. The Tourism Ministry has not had an AOR since then.
The Ministry did not issue an RFP for the business. Work on the account began at the start of this month, following Dionisio James D’Aguilar’s appointment as minister of tourism in May. D’Aguilar is responsible for promoting the "distinctive beauty, culture, and character" of 16 of the Bahamas’ 700 islands for tourism, according to a statement.
The firm is developing a program to market the islands and increase tourism.
"Weber is picking back up on the work it was doing before," said Diaz. "The difference now is the acceleration of digital storytelling and understanding that different channels have to be deployed in a new and interesting way."
Weber is providing services including communications, strategy, digital planning for multiple channels, and crisis communications support for "when hurricanes hit or other issues arise," noted Diaz.
"It is an important time to showcase the Bahamas to a hungry new millennial consumer who needs to understand there are multiple reasons to visit the islands," she explained.
When asked if the Fyre Festival, which was to be based on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma, dented the Bahamas’ reputation, Diaz said the Ministry was not involved with the organizers of the event.
"We will be promoting other events happening [in the Bahamas] in the years to come," she said.
Diaz is leading the account from Weber’s New York office. Budget information was not disclosed.
Representatives from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism were not immediately available for comment.