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Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival

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‘The Economics on the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival’
Seminar Report Paper

Wednesday, 11th March 2014 in The Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre Auditorium at The College of the Bahamas, Mr. Paul Major CEO of the Bahamas National Festive Commission (B.N.F.C) spoke on ‘The Economics of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.’
Mr. Major began his presentation by expressing his past cultural history with Junkanoo, such as his participation in the parade from the age of thirteen up until his early thirties; however, he had a higher love for business.
Mr. Major states that the main purpose of the commission is to help cultural persons (participants of Junkanoo every year) make a business of their passion, therefore stimulating employment from the upcoming festival. Mr. Major went on to give information of the persons on the board as well as the structure of the organization. Continued key information shared included the amount of visitors to the islands, Mr. Major explained. Domestic travelers summed up to be an average of twenty-eight thousand two-hundred and fifty persons (28,250); stop-over travelers average some five thousand seven-hundred persons (5,700); lastly, cruiseship passengers averaged at ten thousand three-hundred persons (10,300) during the initial launch of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Festival. Mr. Major made it clear that the aim was to target all groups of travelers to the islands, engage them in participating in the festival, and to also influence them to partake in other activities such as visiting the Junkanoo museum and historical sites.
The competitive factors of the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival compared to others such as Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados to name a few is that it is in an already ‘well-established’ destination brand, it has a captive market, its close proximity to North America and also because of The Bahamas uniqueness in the arts of music and costume. Mr. Major continued to speak about its differences from its competitors, explaining that the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival would not have any marching bands, however live bands will be stationed at different portions of the festival; art exhibits for local artists to showcase their talents; there will also be a mega music concert taking the nature of a ‘street party’; and lastly that it will have celebrity endorsements. Explaining that it also differed from Junkanoo in many ways in that the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is an event that everybody can participate; it is driven by high volumes of indigenous recorded music; it is like a huge ‘street party’(as stated earlier); it gives an image of Junkanoo ‘out of season’; and that it is a collage of our Bahamian culture.
As for the marketing aspect of the Bahamas Junkanoo Festival, Mr. Major stated that they are using social media, websites, regattas, magazine advertisements, Caribbean radio station broadcasts and billboard displays with the help of hotels and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism to help with the advertisement of the festival.
Mr. Major stated that he believes that the festival will be good for our Bahamian economy. With belief that it will not only create business for the groups that are participating in the festival, but that it will also help others such as vendors and other persons who will be selling their products. He stated that with the initiative of Junkanoo Carnival, persons will have an opportunity to create businesses and that more money will begin to flow through the economy which would be able to help many persons, resulting in an overall increase of the country’s GDP.

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