Youth and Culture Kick Off CHTA Marketplace 2017

The youth of the nation took centre stage kicking off the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2017 in culture and dance at Atlantis, Paradise Island, on Tuesday evening, January 31.

Master of Ceremonies was Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Academy student, Gabriele Josephs, who is 2016-2017 Caribbean and Bahamas Junior Minister of Tourism; St. Andrew’s School student, Rachel Thompson, gave a powerful rendition of the National Anthem, March On Bahamaland, that evoked thunderous applause from the audience; there was an energetic Rake ‘n Scrape performance by popular Rhythm and Youth Band; and young dancers and musicians of Colours Junkanoo Group gave a delightful cultural presentation.

The world-famous Royal Bahamas Police Force Band provided entertainment for the evening, performing a variety of Bahamian, regional and international familiar tunes.

This year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace attracted more than 1,000 buyers and suppliers regionally and internationally, including 226 companies.

Ministers of Tourism from the around the region, and other high level officials, are in attendance.

Bahamas Minister of Tourism the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe in his welcome remarks said it was a pleasure to host the event recognized as the region’s largest and most significant marketing forum.

He noted that the future of tourism lies in the Caribbean’s working together to achieve continued growth and development.

In acknowledging the participation of young people in the opening ceremonies, Mr. Wilchcombe recalled a recent visit with Bahamian Academy Award actor Sir Sidney Poitier who underscored the importance of involving young people in the development of the country.

In his keynote address, the Rt. Hon Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas said the fact that CHTA Marketplace is being held in The Bahamas two years in a row is a testimony that The Bahamas continues to grow a multi-diverse tourism product.

The opening ceremonies were also addressed by Carlton Russell, president of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, and Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2017 is organized with the support of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB), Paradise Island Tourism Development Association (PITDA), and The Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association (BHTA). The event ends Thursday, February 2.

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