While scientists are drawn to the Bahamas by the world’s largest underwater cave system, groups can dive into the Bahamas as well, but will find plenty to do on dry land; from learning about the islands’ history of pirates, rum runners and merchants to visiting luxurious new hotels.
And, it appears, there are more groups exploring the destination these days.
“Businesses seem to be more confident and we are seeing longer booking periods, which is always a good sign for the industry,” says Kara Manouzi, a group sales manager with the Bahamas Tourism Office. “As bookings continue to increase, we continue to renovate.”
Recent development projects include a new $409 million international terminal at Lynden Pindling International Airport.
The new Bahamar development is also making waves in Cable Beach, adding a 200-room Rosewood, 300-room Mondrian and 700-room Grand Hyatt in late 2014, as well as a new casino hotel.
Other meetings properties include the newly independent, 542-room Grand Lucayan Resort, which separated from Radisson and underwent a rebranding in late 2012.
Down the road in Freeport, the Pelican Bay Hotel offers a variety of meeting spaces in the property’s colorful Canal House.
“Meeting space in the Caribbean is often hidden away,” says General Manager Magnus Alnebeck. “Groups sit in air-conditioned rooms all day with no idea if they’re in New Jersey or the Bahamas.”
Pelican Bay took a different approach and designed the Canal House with a wraparound balcony, oversized windows and omnipresent water views that he says “creates a fun, happy environment where you are constantly reminded that you are in the Bahamas.”