NASSAU, The Bahamas, 23 January, 2017—Veteran tourism consultant, Basil H. Smith is to become be the new executive director of the Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM), taking over from marketing consultant, Bob Bower, who has served as executive director of the association for the past two years.
Formerly known as the Marina Operators of The Bahamas (MOB), the association was recently renamed and rebranded as the ABM.
A statement issued by the association’s executive committee said: “The ABM is extremely fortunate to acquire Basil who brings a rare level of acumen and experience as we expand our influence and the importance of the boating, sport fishing and marina sector to the Bahamas tourist industry.”
Smith has been consulting with the ABM and working with interim executive director Bower since August. Bower will continue to work closely with the association on marketing projects and the popular Bahamas Cruising Map, published annually in autumn, and to engage with other clients on marketing, publishing and advertising.
A former executive vice-president of the Bahamas Hotel Association, Smith is well known in the tourism industry, having served in the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in various capacities, most recently as senior director of communications, worldwide and senior vice-president of The Counsellors Ltd., where he functioned as editor in chief of the Bahamas News Bureau. In Jamaica he was director of tourism and consulted in various capacities in the tourism sector.
A statement issued by the ABM’s executive committee said the association has “known for a long time that our yachting and marinas sector is a huge contributor to the Bahamas’ tourist economy, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars and supporting many thousands of jobs throughout the country. We are concerned that the importance of our sector has not been fully appreciated. Foremost in Mr. Smith’s mandate, therefore, is a charge to raise that level of awareness to enable the sector achieve its fullest potential.”
“We are grateful to Bob Bower for his supportive role in helping the current and past executive teams to develop our association. We’ve launched our social media program and will soon launch our website. ABM now offers more tangible membership value and marketing power and we expect a significant rise in our total membership—both among marinas and the allied members that depend on our marinas and resorts to bring them business. We have much more to offer members going forward. Our new membership categories are more flexible and productive,” said the statement.
“Now that we’ve rebranded our name and identity, and have expanded our fundraising capabilities, the scope of responsibilities of the executive directorship has grown and requires more of a full time position. During Bob’s -year term, we forged relationships with industry partners in the public and private sectors and we’ve started to raise our profile. We are now ready to move to an increased level of activity with concerted local and overseas PR and marketing activity.
“We thank Bobby for his two years of dedicated service and for bringing us to this good juncture where we can now embrace many new opportunities,” said Kappeler. “We look forward to working with Bob on our yearly map publication and other projects.
At the ABM’s initial meeting in 2017 (February 9th), the association will also outline its PR and marketing strategy and introduce new research findings that demonstrate the huge economic impact and importance of the marina and yachting sector to The Bahamas. According to industry insiders, the findings are illuminating and are sure to raise some eyebrows.