Prime Minister Perry Christie underscored the importance of supporting Atlantis in hosting the NBA Champions Miami Heat during
their pre-season training camp.
The Miami Heat held their sessions at the Paradise Island resort from October 1 to 3, 2013.
" Everything seems to have worked out well, they are happy with the management of the team even after telling them I am a Los Angeles Lakers supporter," said the prime minister, who visited the training camp to see the players in action.
" They have gone out of their way to impress upon me how relevant the Miami sporting teams are to tourism here in The Bahamas and we should really bring special focus to getting them to feel a part of The Bahamas and that is what I was trying to do here; to let them know that the Government of The Bahamas is really at one with the hotel management over here in hosting them."
The Prime Minister said the government has to continue to expand and deepen the tourism industry and to find ways to attract people to The Bahamas.
" The fact that Atlantis was able to have the team here, to have college teams here, have now given them a special brand in the marketplace where people now would know that coming to Atlantis is a special kind of experience. Coming to The Bahamas is a special kind of experience," he said.
" I think we are doing it well, we are trying to integrate our stadium into sports tourism and we have now short-listed two or three international mega firms in terms of marketing, which have made an application to really become a part of the sports authority of The Bahamas and being able to create a real sports destination."
The Bahamas has become familiar dealing with the highest level of visitors and are not overwrought by the mega stars who visit its shores, the prime minister noted.
" In The Bahamas and we give them their space and thatâ s what's important here knowing that we have to give them space. Knowing that they must not be uncomfortable."
" When one thinks of The Bahamas as an archipelagic nation then " we have the opportunity to do this in Grand Bahama and Abaco and other places where teams, whether in basketball, whether in baseball, once we have the facilities they would want to be able to practice, being not pressed and harassed."