Today’s post comes from one of our YAB members, 22 year-old, Nathan. As a born and raised native of the Bahamas, Nathan has a very different perspective during Spring Break season. Instead of partying like a Spring Breaker, Nathan is most concerned about the marketing approach that local businesses take on during this high season. He interviewed a few students and business owners to give us some insight into the business side of Spring Break in the Bahamas.
Spring Break 2013: Destination Grand Bahama Island, Ohio State, UGA, Virginia and Kentucky Lead The Way To The Sub-Tropical Paradise.
The parties, the nightlife and a great time are all the things visitors come for when they go to the island of Grand Bahama for Spring Break 2013. Mega student vacation travel agent, StudentCity.com has once again brought the party crowd from North America to their main host, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach Hotel. The hotel is on the sub-tropical paradise island of Grand Bahama Island, and becomes one big party during this time of year with a fun-filled week of sandy beaches, hot weather and entertainment. Being a native, I find this time to be exciting and incredibly fascinating. The outlandish behavior, fun, and most of all the economic boost it gives our local communities makes this time of year a huge event to look forward to for everyone involved.
Among this year’s highlights included a boat ride to Barberry Beach, a booze cruise and a beach party excursion. Among the larger groups of students that choose Grand Bahama as their destination of choice is Ohio State University, University of Kentucky, and Virginia Tech.
Spring breaker, Jeremy, from Ohio State University commented: “Grand Bahama also has great nightlife and great events during the day, so I wanted to come for that and relax from my crazy school schedule.”
Another spring breaker, Hall, from University of Georgia, noted “It has beautiful beaches, beautiful people; my best friends are all here and we just want to enjoy this natural, open and beautiful environment together… I’m always looking at a screen (of some kind) throughout my entire day, but here we feel completely free, we can tune out all the digital noise and just be here now.”
General Manager of Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach hotel, Guillermo LaChapelle, commented on Spring Beak 2013 and expressed his excitement about the numbers for this year’s season. “Spring break this year has been incredibly successful so far. There are large amounts of groups coming in together and enjoying the island. This is a very, very important season for our property because of the occupancy and the revenue,” he said. He did note that transportation and an overflow of guests have caused some delays in guests getting settled on the island but it brought about an opportunity for other hotels and the local businesses benefited greatly: “Unfortunately they have some concerns about the transportation. We had to give up 50 – 80 rooms because it was impossible for them to accommodate everyone, but today we have another booking. That means we are giving the opportunity to other properties to be apart of our revenue because we are sending out 25 rooms to the Royal Islander Hotel. We provide transportation back and forth for them to spend the day and night here, on property. Also we provide shuttle buses into town incase guests want to get some shopping done and eat at some of our local restaurants.”
Overall, LaChapelle said he was very pleased with the numbers for Spring Break this year and that a large appeal to coming to the island for tourists is that it’s safe. They feel comfortable here to let loose because they know they are being taken care of and there is no danger in the area or surrounding it. This is a time of year when we particularly love this American tradition and we are more than happy to accommodate the youth that is yearning to let loose, unwind, disconnect from their screens and be free to “be here now”.
NATHANIEL PRINCE LEWIS, FREEPORT, BAHAMAS, AGE: 22
Nathaniel is a Bahamian film producer, screenwriter, actor, social-entrepreneur, and author, born in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas. Having a passion for the arts (mainly film and theater) and advancing positive global change from a very young age, he’s been involved in many local theater productions in The Bahamas and has served as a motivational speaker and leadership trainer at events and seminars throughout North America, including in The Bahamas, Canada, and the United States. He also participated in the Bahamas National Youth Parliament 2009 and was elected Deputy Speaker by his peers. Nathaniel has successfully authored his first book “Triumph: Poetic Expressions of Success,” produced the award-winning short film “Politicking in Paradise” (which won best short at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival on Location: Grand Bahamas Island), and is now the Executive Producer and host of the upcoming web series “The Prince’s Lounge.” In his spare time, he enjoys theatre, traveling, nightlife, and public speaking.