Travel and Tourism

Hotel News: Pacquiao vs Mayweather Fight Brings Las Vegas Hotel Rate Drop

The excitement for the superfight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather has engulfed the sports world, but travelers are not flocking to Las Vegas as many tourist experts expected due to high ticket prices and limited viewing options.

According to Erik Matuszewski of, the average price of a hotel room in Las Vegas for Saturday night’s boxing match has dropped $150 because fans understand it will be very difficult to witness the fight live.

Tickets for the event itself and the multiple viewing parties around the city sold out quickly, and attending the fight in the building will cost fans just under $3,600 dollars for the cheapest seats on re-sale website

With that price being far too expensive for most boxing fans, viewing the event on pay-per-view is one of the only other options. Unfortunately, MGM Resorts—the MGM Grand Garden Arena will host Pacquiao vs. Mayweather—has exclusive rights to show the event live.

For visitors to Las Vegas, that means the only casinos, hotels and sportsbooks that will be showing the superfight will be the 13 MGM Resorts properties across the city. business development manager, Vanessa Doleshal, told that the average hotel rate in Las Vegas was hovering around $420, but the website has seen a jump in cancellations in the days before a penalty could be applied.

Another possible reason for the lack of tourists making their way to Las Vegas is the timing of the fight. Other sporting events including the NFL Draft, Kentucky Derby, NHL and NBA playoffs and several marquee baseball games are pulling fans in different directions.

Between the expensive tickets and the exclusive rights MGM Resorts hold for the PPV, there is no question that hotels and resorts in Las Vegas are not selling out like many expected. For non-sports fans who want to visit Vegas, the cheaper rates could be a major coup.

Author: Donald Wood,


Caribbean Music, Model & Talent Search @IslandMMTS Launches Official #BBM Channel

Island MMTS is the Caribbean’s Top Talent Search and the first of its kind to bring top modeling agencies, record labels, talent scouts, booking agents, entertainment industries and talent managers from all over the world to The Bahamas and the Caribbean to search for aspiring models, actors, music producers, songwriters, singers and singing groups ready to take their talent to the international stage. Island MMTS is poised to bring over 1,500 stopover visitors to The Bahamas for its 2015 International Conference scheduled July 13 to July 19, 2015.

What better way to be #1 and stay in touch all over the globe but with a new, Official BBM Channel?  BBM is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry users for free.

Island MMTS Official BBM Channel Screen Shot

COO of Island MMTS Inc (and Co-Founder of The DS3 Group), PJ Douglas Sands and the Media Team are really excited about the launch. When asked why she felt an official BBM Channel was important to the Island MMTS brand, Ms. Douglas Sands expressed that technology continues to level the playing field.  Island MMTS in particular, is using technology and new media in innovative ways to get the word out. MMTS is a great opportunity for those aspiring to become professionals in the entertainment industry.

Island MMTS has only just begun to take full advantage of the many benefits of a presence on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Twitter and SoundCloud. Not only do they compliment as a website, but work in tandem with the support of local traditional media outlets such as newspapers, radio, television and magazines.

“Throughout the Caribbean and The Bahamas, Blackberry has always been one of the top mobile platforms.  In many islands, it is the most affordable way to communicate.  Island MMTS is happy to be a part of the BBM family which allows those who have Blackberry devices as well as iPhones, Androids and Windows Phone, not only to chat with us in real-time but see what’s going on with our auditions around the region. Launching the Official BBM channel for Island MMTS has been ground-breaking.  No other entertainment company in The Bahamas has an Official BBM Channel.” – PJ Douglas Sands, COO, Island MMTS Inc.

As Island MMTS travels the Caribbean and hosts free auditions in 37 cities this year, social media has documented the conversation we are having with individuals who are hungry to take their talent to the world and be seen by international scouts, major labels and talent agencies.

If you want to subscribe to the Island MMTS Official BBM Channel, download the BBM app or click the BBM Link. You can also scan the QR code below with your mobile device to follow instantly.

Island MMTS Official BBM Channel QR Code

Here is a screen shot from the Island MMTS Official Channel.


BBM MMTS channel screenshot


Google Glass Enters the Hotel Industry with Starwood Hotels

By Mark Rowh, Lodging Magazine

Few would disagree that keeping up with mobile technology poses an ongoing challenge for the hotel industry. In one move to stay ahead of the curve, Starwood Hotels & Resorts recently unveiled its new Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) app for Google Glass. Users can explore destinations, book stays, and check point balances, among other features.

Recognizing that the wearable technology market is rapidly growing into a multi-billion dollar industry, Starwood wanted to get in at the ground floor and start learning on this new platform, says Chris Holdren, senior vice president of SPG and digital. The goal is to explore new technologies and learn from guests’ interactions with them.

SPG promo

“Travelers are more tech-savvy and mobile than ever before, and we want to be where guests are,” he says. “That means identifying and building apps on emerging platforms.”

Developed by an in-house team, this is the only Google Glass app presently available that enables booking a stay at any of Starwood’s hotels around the world. Designers feel the personalized interface is ideal for any Glass Explorer, providing ready access to account information along with features such as voice command search and geo location, search and book options, and photos of a selected hotel’s amenities.

While the number of potential users may be relatively small, company officials expect interest to grow. In the meanwhile, the SPG app for Google Glass will complement other digital offerings from apps to messaging to mobile web.

In researching prospects for the initiative, Starwood execs noted that mobile technology is already having a huge effect on business, with mobile bookings growing five times faster than web bookings did 10 years ago. In fact, analysis of trends in use of mobile technologies was a key factor in the decision go with the new app.

“Mobile is the only technology used through someone’s entire travel experience,” Holdren says. “Our guests stay connected through their mobile devices during their travels.”

He notes that smartphones and tablets now capture nearly 1 in 5 online travel dollars, with more than 53 percent of travel inspiration now beginning on a mobile platform. He also notes that in 2013, 40 percent of all industry-wide travel searches were done via a mobile device, up from 25 percent in 2012.

“More than half the world will access the Internet through mobile this year, with it being the most common way to access the Internet in emerging countries,” Holdren says. “So it’s imperative to be where our guests are.”

SPG for Glass uses voice search to let members look for any of the chain’s almost 1,200 properties across its nine brands. Searches can be done in four ways:

  • “Near Me”
  • “By Destination”
  • “By Airport Code”
  • “By Hotel Name”

After a hotel is chosen, the app offers directions, a few photos and the opportunity to book a room either by phone or email. Starwood also promises SPG members that its app will recognize their upcoming stays and push relevant information about the stay 48 hours before arrival.

Other travel-inspired Google Glass innovations that have popped up recently include Hotel Near Me, a hotel reservation app for Google Glass launched by Destinia, an online travel agency; a Google Glass-assisted hotel check-in solution that’s being developed by hospitality industry software solution provider, Itesso; and TripIt’s Glass app, which enables users to view their flight details and car rental, hotel, and other travel reservations.

While unable to predict whether other major hotel companies will follow suit, Holdren says Starwood is accelerating its efforts in digital innovation. The company’s other recent moves include keyless mobile check-in and introduction of a Chinese Android app. He notes that as mobile browsing and booking continue to play a larger role in the travel experience, digital innovation will be increasingly important in offering guests the best, easiest-to-use tools on the latest platforms.

Starwood's Google Glass app

Starwood’s Google Glass app

#Bahamas Says Goodbye to #Sports #Tourism Icon, Former #Basketball Player Cecil Rose Jr.


Bahamian Sports Tourism icon and former league, high school and collegiate University of Houston Basketball shooting guard Cecil A. Rose, Jr. passed away Friday, December 27, 2013 at his Houston, Texas home. Cecil Rose “was arguably one of the greatest basketball players (the Bahamas) has ever produced” as stated in the Bahamas House of Assembly by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.

A memorial service celebrating Rose’s life was held at 1pm, Saturday, January 4, at Windsor Village United Methodist Church, located at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 W. Orem, Houston, TX 77085). Bahamas Minister of Tourism Obediah Wilchcombe as well as Bahamas Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson brought remarks on behalf of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

Funeral services were held in the Bahamas at 11 am, Saturday, January 11, at Salem Baptist Church (Taylor Street, Nassau). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Cecil Rose’s name to the Cougar Pride Houston Athletic Scholarship Fund. (4800 Calhoun Rd., Houston, TX 77004).

Rose, who hailed from Nassau, Bahamas, was a member of the famous “Miami Jackson Five” which included Mychal Thompson. Rose became a legend of Florida high school basketball. During the early 1970s, Rose, Charles Thompson, Osborne Lockhart and Mychal Thompson revolutionized high school basketball in Florida at Miami Jackson High. He was the architect of a 33-0 perfect run, and his Jackson team remains legendary for its accomplishments with Rose leading the way along with his three fellow Bahamians.

He played for the Bahamas National Team at the 1977 Pan American Games, and was bestowed the national Bahamian honor Goodwill Basketball Ambassador by Bahamas Prime Minister Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling and Bahamas Minister of Sports Kendal Nottage.

Rose joined the University of Houston Cougars for the 1974-75 season and finished with four letters under legendary head coach Guy V. Lewis. He connected on 52.2 percent of his shots from the field during his collegiate career and scored 1,244 points, a total which continues to rank 23rd in school history.

From 1974-78, Rose helped lead the Cougars to a 87-37 record with a berth in the NIT Championship Game in 1977 and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament First Round in 1978. As a senior in 1977-78, he averaged a career-high 17.6 points per game and was named to the All-Southwest Conference Second Team and NABC All-District 9 Third Team.

Following his collegiate playing days, he was taken in the fifth round of the 1978 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and played professionally for two years before returning to Houston as a graduate assistant coach for the 1980-81 season.

Most recently, he was working in Houston, Texas. He served his native country for more than 30 years, promoting the Bahamas to the world as a representative of the Bahamas Tourist Office in Houston. His basketball connections at the highest levels, enabled him to be one of the biggest contributors in sports tourism to the Ministry of Tourism. Rose was also the catalyst for numerous annual visits to the Bahamas of the NBA Players Association. Prior to his death Cecil was in talks with the Ministry of Tourism as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs open to the possibility of filling an Honorary Consul General diplomatic post.

“I will always remember Cecil’s passion for the game and his fierce competitiveness, and we became great friends,” said Houston great Otis Birdsong, who played with Rose from 1974 to 1977. “He was a great teammate and the kind of guy you wanted to go into battle with.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to L.J., Lynden and the Rose family during this difficult time,” head coach James Dickey said. “Our University and our Men’s Basketball program are much better with the connection to the Rose family through the years, and we are saddened for their loss. Cecil will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Rose and his family have a long history at the University of Houston. His younger brother, Lynden Rose, played for the Cougars from 1980 to 1982 and was a member of Houston’s celebrated Phi Slama Jama team along with Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler before being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the sixth round of the 1982 NBA Draft. Lynden Rose also served as a member of the UH Board of Regents from 2004 to 2009.

Three of Rose’s sisters also attended UH, and the family connection continues today. Sisters Debra Rose-Munnings and Sharon Rose Hutchinson are prominent international attorneys, while sister Priscilla Rose is an executive health care professional. All three sisters also attended the University of Houston after Cecil Rose’s arrival. His nephew, L.J. Rose, is currently a sophomore point guard for the 2013-14 team, competing in his first season at UH after transferring from Baylor.

Cecil is survived by his son Cecil, III, brothers Lynden, Jacob, Paul, sisters: Priscilla, Debra, Sharon, and a host of loving family and friends.

Personally, I have known Cecil since I was a little girl growing up in Houston. He was always so pleasant, helpful and friendly. He always wore his Bahamas colors with pride and served as a proud ambassador. As part of the Bahamian American Association in Houston, no Bahamian holiday went unobserved as Cecil ensured Goombay Punch, conch fritters and conch salad were on deck for all to enjoy, along with Junkanoo, Soca or Rake n Scrape music playing in the background. As a collegiate athlete I called upon Cecil often for his advice, especially when I returned to the Bahamas aspiring to compete in track and field for the Bahamas national team. He provided support and encouragement throughout my NCAA career. His smile and effervescent charm will truly be missed by all. RIP.



#Caribbean's Top 25 Most Interesting People in 2013 via @caribjournal

20131231-154724.jpgAccording to Caribbean Journal, who were the newsmakers in 2013? Who were the people making a difference in the Caribbean in 2013?

Caribbean Journal put together a list of the Caribbean’s 25 most interesting people of 2013. And whether you like what they’re doing or you don’t — you’re probably talking about them, and that makes their stories fascinating.
Here’s their list of the region’s most interesting people this year (in no particular order) including Stephanie Villedrouin of Haiti, Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tech Entrepreneurs Ingrid Riley and Tyrone Wilson (shown below). 20131231-154254.jpgThe list also includes Usain Bolt, Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Rihanna, Amanda Coulson and Dana Leibovitz of the Bahamas and Jamaica’s Tessanne Chin.

Click here to see the complete list.

Travelers: 8 Frequent Flyer Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Trip

Prone to self-sabotage? Even the best-intentioned travelers sometimes undermine their chances of a great vacation. What you do (and don’t do) on a plane can make or break the trip to come.

Seemingly innocuous activities can set you up for exhaustion, illness, and jet lag—all total vacation killers. Here are eight ways you might be ruining your vacation even before you land, plus tips for beating the odds and arriving primed to squeeze every last fabulous drop out of your travels.

1. Sitting Still
Sitting in an airplane seat is hard on your body. If you’re not moving and stretching at regular intervals in-flight, you’re putting yourself at risk. Opt to remain in your seat for hours at a time and you’ll likely arrive with the aches and pains of tight muscles. More seriously, people who sit still for long periods have a higher likelihood of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which a blood clot forms, usually in the leg. DVT causes leg pain, but the real concern is that part of the clot could break off and flow to the heart or brain, causing severe injury or death. In its DVT pamphlet for travelers, the FAA advises airline passengers to increase leg-muscle activity while flying by walking around in the cabin or exercising lower legs and ankles from a seated position.

2. Getting Drunk
A glass of wine with dinner on an international flight? Reasonable (especially if you’re also drinking a healthy amount of water). Three vodka tonics in quick succession on a cross-country flight? Recipe for regret. Both air travel and alcohol are dehydrating, and dehydration is a major contributor to jet lag (and hangover) symptoms. Alcohol also drives up your body temperature, which can actually make it more difficult to sleep in-flight. So to avoid ruining a trip before it’s even begun, wait until you’ve arrived before indulging in those celebratory rounds.

3. Zoning Out
Sure, your main goal on long-haul flights is usually to simply pass the time, but your number-one priority should be to maximize vacation time by preparing your body for the trip to come. For that reason, we don’t recommend simply settling in for an epic movie marathon or reading an entire book in one sitting. Rather, make time for stretching and napping, both body-benefitting activities that help ward off everything from stiff muscles and DVT to jet lag. Before you take off, set your watch for your destination and let that time zone loosely guide your activities. Try to sleep during your destination’s nighttime (cabins are often dimmed accordingly). And since well-rested travelers acclimate faster, it’s a good idea to attempt a few catnaps even if your entire flight time occurs during your destination’s daytime. You can always watch movies between snoozes.

4. Getting Dehydrated
Pair the dry air of an airplane cabin with the tiny cups of liquid occasionally doled out by flight attendants and you’re well on the road to in-flight dehydration. Unfortunately, the effects of even mild dehydration can stick with you long after you land. Mild discomforts like dry skin and itchy eyes usually fade within a day or two, as long as you’re diligent about drinking enough water once you arrive. The bigger problem for most people is that dehydration worsens the symptoms of jet lag—fatigue, sleep problems, irritability, and nausea chief among them. To combat the drying effects of flying, bring your own water onboard and be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your flight.

5. Eating Like Crap
Airport concourses are lined with unhealthy eating options engineered to tempt fatigued flyers with the promise of salty, greasy comfort food. Onboard, candy and salty snacks are sometimes the only offerings. It’s a bleak landscape of on-the-fly eating and one that can lead to dehydration, jet bloat (pressurization causes cabin air to expand inside and outside your body), and digestive problems that can dog you for days after arrival. Seek out healthier snacks and meals (or bring your own from home) and you won’t kick off your vacation with a junk-food hangover.

6. Sitting Next To A Sick Person
Most of the time, you can’t choose who you end up next to on a plane. But if your seatmate turns out to be the poor soul with a massive bag of cold medicines and a tray table littered with used tissues, it’s probably worth your time to attempt a seat switch. Here’s what we recommend: Get up and discreetly ask a flight attendant if there’s a free seat somewhere else on the plane, mentioning your reason for wanting to change.

If you’re stuck with your assigned seat, be sure to wash your hands often, not to touch your face, and to position your air vent slightly in front of your face to try and deflect some of the germs your seatmate is so generously sharing with you.

7. Staying Up All Night
A popular practice among junk-science enthusiasts, staying up all night before your flight to confuse your internal clock and fight jet lag mostly just makes you more tired and prone to illness and stress. And that sets a bad tone for any trip. Instead of pulling an all-nighter, aim for good sleep before your trip and use the flight time to ease yourself into the destination’s time zone by sleeping and waking according to the clock where you’ll land.

8. Touching Germiest Surfaces
Even if you’re not sitting next to someone who is obviously ill, there’s still a good chance that germs from passengers past are lurking in the cabin. Bathroom door handles, arm rests, tray tables, seat-back pockets, and seat-back screen controllers are among the surfaces that get dirty fastest and might not be properly disinfected between flights. Shared airplane blankets and pillows, especially those not sealed in plastic when you board, also tend to be germ factories. Since nothing ruins a vacation faster than coming down with a cold or the flu, it’s key to be vigilant against germy surfaces when you fly. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.

Some related travel articles from Smarter Travel:
• Eight Perks That Are Still Free on Flights
• Seven Foods You Should Eat Before Flying
• Ten Healthy Snacks You Can Buy At the Airport

Have you learned the hard way about ruining a trip before it starts? Share your cautionary tale with other readers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and write your comments below.

Luxury Hotels Use #SocialMedia, #Instagram Contests to Measure Impact

Can hotel brands benefit from social media and measure impact? Yes they can.

By Joe McCarthy, Luxury Daily, New York

Instagram contests can allow luxury hotel brands to measure the impact of their social media channels and gain a deeper understanding of guests’ interests.

With the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media engagement, providing fans and guests with a creative project attached to prizes seems like a simple way to stay relevant. However, beyond the immediate fun, such contests can arm brands with insights into how consumers respond to their social media pages and how they can structure future offers.

“With everyone having a phone in today’s world, and the overall popularity of social media, these photo contests have become increasingly important for hotels,” said Damon M. Banks, director of DMB Public Relations, New York.

“This engagement with past, current and future guests is yet another way to maintain a connection with them directly, while also gaining added exposure through the guest’s social media community,” he said.

Is the power on?
Perhaps the most visible benefit of an Instagram contest is the venue it establishes for interacting with prospective guests. Since most contests are tied directly to a brand’s main Instagram feed, participants can seamlessly learn about it and then submit.

Figuring out how to garner as many submissions as possible, while still keeping the contest relevant to the brand or specific property can be a tricky issue. Some brands choose to go with a broad rubric, thus ensuring a large response.

For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ St. Regis upped its credibility as a fashion-minded marketer and established a new channel on Instagram via a contest that pushes its Grand Tourista Bag designed by brand connoisseur Jason Wu.

St. Regis asked its mobile-savvy followers to share what they would carry in the Grand Tourista Bag via an Instagram image for the chance to win a vacation package and their own bag. The brand seemed to target millennials through this mobile effort since it created the bag to reach a new generation of travelers (see story).

St. Regis Grand Tourista Instagram contest
St. Regis Grand Tourista Instagram contest

Contests that are location-neutral will likely shed light on how well brands are connecting with their target audience. If submissions are meager, then it may be time to rejuvenate social media approaches.

“Social networks are constantly evolving,” Amanda Rue, strategist at Carrot Creative, New York. ”A year ago, we may have asked fans to submit a photo, where now brands can call for richer content via Instagram video and Vine.

“Now with a dichotomy existing between Facebook and Instagram versus Twitter and Vine, it’s important to understand which networks best serve the objectives of the campaign,” she said.

“There are nuances to each network that can be addressed by understanding the objectives and key audiences of the photo contest.”

Highlighting the map
Some Instagram contests are location-based and instantly shrink the potential pool of participants. However, fans may be more inclined to submit when they notice a contest is exclusively designed for them.

For instance, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong interacted with a diverse group of young consumers by inviting Instagram users to capture views of the cosmopolitan city.

The summer contest sought to bring new visitors to the hotel and invigorate current visitors with a creative mission. Instagram competitions of this kind breed memorable ties by spurring entrants to make new experiences (see story).
Four Seasons Hong Kong #OURHK contest
Four Seasons Hong Kong #OURHK contest

Through this particular contest, the property can discern which areas of the city received the most attention and use this information to shape future offers.

Other contests leverage an area’s love for a certain object or idea. For example, Four Seasons Hotel Seattle is inviting citizens and tourists of the city to marvel at the sunset during an Instagram competition beginning Aug. 1 for a chance to win prizes and raise awareness for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund.

The “My Seattle Sunset” contest encourages fans to explore the city for an original view of the sunset and get to know the property’s surrounding environment. Using the ensuing proceeds to help the fight against brain tumors and brain cancer is a good way to breed solidarity within a community and remind guests that the brand has aspirations outside of commercialism (see story).

Such a contest bonds with fans by showing appreciation for a cherished, communal image. Further tying the contest to philanthropy will likely increase its pull. If the contest does well, the brand may bind future contests and packages to philanthropic endeavors.

“It will be very interesting to see the future of these contests, and how brands continue to develop new ways to connect with their guests,” Mr. Banks said.

“From a financial perspective, the amount of added exposure seen digitally from the interaction with the guests in these cases are well worth the investment of a $100 gift card or complimentary night at the hotel,” he said.

“While many of these brands take advantage of the seasons, current blockbuster films, popular television show or sports to develop these photo contests, it’s also important to include themes very important to many of their guests, such as their pets and kids.”

Mixing metaphors
Since fans are competing with one another for prizes during these contests, they are likely to spend more time considering submissions. Consequently, those who enter may submit a photo with emotions behind it.

Increasing the possibility for meaningful encounters that arise from Instagram contests can help secure future guests as these positive memories will be bound to the hotel.

Regardless of all the potential benefits of hosting an Instagram contest, hotel brands should thoughtfully consider potential repercussions.

“Luxury brands especially have to be aware of devaluing or diluting the brand with cheap or kitschy ploys to engage fans,” Carrot Creative’s Ms. Rue said.

“Engagement can increase with a low barrier to entry, clear rules and an attractive incentive that resonates with the audience,” she said. “Contests can also become more interesting and more engaging by defining new mechanics to the contest.

“Tactically, this can manifest in a variety of ways based on the objectives of the campaign but can include variations in audience voting, submissions that serve a higher purpose, or new uses of hashtags.”

#NABHOOD's 17th Annual Summit Promotes African American Hotel Ownership, Hospitality Opportunity



By Stefani C. O’Connor

Several hundred entrepreneurs looking to enter the lodging industry, as well as seasoned hoteliers eager to share their knowledge, are gathered here at the Marriott Miami Biscayne Bay for the 17th International African-American Hotel Ownership and Investment Summit.

The annual event, presented by the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers (NABHOOD), Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine and Horizons Marketing Group International, has brought together a mix of investors, developers, franchisees, owners, lenders and major hotel chain executives—as well as students from colleges and hospitality schools looking to map their futures—for four days of networking and information gathering.

“This is the greatest industry in the world,” said Andy Ingraham, NABHOOD’s President/CEO, at the opening general session. “We’re happy that we continue to grow.” Ingraham noted achieving ownership in the hotel industry has been an evolutionary process.

“When you think about it, some 15 years ago [it seemed] African-Americans didn’t own hotels; they didn’t. They just didn’t own Marriotts; they just didn’t own Hiltons,” he said, recalling in 2001, there was one African-American owned hotel in the United States that had a major brand. “Today, we have just over 523, and we continue to grow.”

Fighting a case of laryngitis, Michael Roberts, NABHOOD chairman and chairman of Roberts Hotels Group, told the audience, “No matter what, we always have to ‘sell’ our ourselves and our businesses. We have to take our vision and our commitment and we have to explore all opportunities. If we fail to do that, we are failing ourselves.”

The Summit is providing a wealth of information in the forms of seminars, roundtables and panel discussions, as well as a trade show to get attendees and vendors to interface. “Our goal is networking. How do you connect for a lifetime?” said Ingraham.


Video: @BahamianIcon Awards Nominations Announced #bahamas40


The Bahamian Icon Awards Organizing Committee, sponsors and partners are proud to announce the 2013 Nominees. Three days after the Commonwealth of the Bahamas celebrates its 40th anniversary, a group of outstanding Bahamians will receive grand honours at the first Bahamian Icon Awards.

The artists, educators, journalists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs who form the first cohort of recipients will walk home holding the bronze creation of artist Kishan Munroe.

Click here to see the complete list of 2013 nominees in their respective categories.

Watch the nomination announcements here.

Congratulations to all of the 2013 Nominees. Winners will be announced at the 2013 Bahamian Icon Awards Ceremony held at the Independence Ballroom, Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on July 13, 2013 in Nassau, Bahamas. Tickets are now on sale at SIDDA Communications Group, Ltd. or at

For more information visit the website at


@visitthebahamas highlights #freshRK @RKelly Concert & entertainment tourism at


The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism highlights “A Celebration of Love” Post Valentine’s Concert featuring Grammy award winning R. Kelly among February’s top events in the Bahamas.

The 700 islands and cays of the Bahamas are a sight to behold. Fresh Entertainment appreciates the support of The Bahamas Government in promoting entertainment tourism. Often times visitors to the Caribbean have interests beyond sun, sand and sea or work-related conferences and are excited to know that they can see their favorite A-list artists and enjoy a new destination at the same time.

Make sure you visit the Bahamas and enjoy A Celebration of Love.

Book air, discount hotel rooms with our partners and purchase concert tickets at A Celebration of Love is a concert you don’t want to miss. RKelly provides an intimate, once in a lifetime musical experience. Special guests include Bahamian Dance Queen Gia Miran, young music prodigy Sketch Carey and upcoming US R&B sensation Darnaa.

Friday’s Pre-party begins at 7pm at the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal and will be hosted by Stefan Legend, Miss Universe Bahamas and Miss World Bahamas.

Check out this amazing Superbowl 2013 advertisement. Behold The Islands Of The Bahamas. Water so blue it seems to merge with the sky above. Sand so soft it’s like every step is a walk among the clouds. Natural beauty that soars above the sea and plunges far below. Come see for yourself why “It’s Better in The Bahamas!”