Bahamas Ministry of Tourism relies on LA connection to attract visitors

More than 230 movies, underwater videos, and commercials are filmed in the Bahamas every year. Most of those come from Los Angeles.

Client

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (Nassau, the Bahamas)

PR agency

Lagrant Communications (Los Angeles)

Campaign

Bahamas in LA

Duration

April 2010

Budget

$100,000-$150,000

More than 230 movies, underwater videos, and commercials are filmed in the Bahamas every year, says Anita Johnson-Patty, GM of communications (USA) for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation. Most of those come from Los Angeles.

"We have a sales rep in LA, but we've never gone after this market," she explains. "We wanted to do something, especially against affluent African-American consumers."

STRATEGY

Working with Lagrant, its African-American AOR, the ministry created media and VIP events co-branded with Lagrant client American Airlines.

The PR team also worked with Nicole Avant, a former music executive, who was recently appointed US ambassador to the Bahamas. "It made sense to use her as the hook," explains Lee Hayes, a VP and MD for Lagrant.

TACTICS

Local and national media, in-cluding Black Meetings & Tourism and Uptown, were invited to a media-only luncheon on April 29 at the Beverly Hills Hilton.

A VIP reception was also held at the home of Avant's friend, film producer Tracey Edmonds.

RESULTS

A number of titles published articles about the Bahamas, including a profile of Avant in the June/July issue of Uptown.

The VIP event attracted more than 250 A-listers, including Vivica A. Fox and Tyrese Gibson. "We were able to capture at least 150 e-mail addresses from the event, so we're tracking how many of those people book a trip," says Johnson-Patty.

More than 15 guests have since visited the Bahamas and 10 more have scheduled trips.

FUTURE

Similar events are in the works for Washington, New York, Atlanta, and possibly Chicago.

"We want this to be a signature event," says Johnson-Patty.

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