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Bahamas Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 88
Total Sleeping Rooms 11,804
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 3,400
Committable Meeting Rooms* 60
Average Hotel Room Rate BSD B$159
Average Daily Meal Cost BSD B$107
Average Weekly Car Rental BSD B$372
*Maximum for a single hotel

Bahamas Meeting Planning Overview

More than 1.7 million visitors flock to the Islands of the Bahamas each year to experience the trademark hospitality, sundrenched shores and balmy year-round temperatures. The islands' close proximity just off the coast of Florida makes this sprawling archipelago one of the easiest foreign destinations to get to from the United States. Visitors can board a plane in Miami and arrive in Nassau, the largest city and capital of the commonwealth, in fewer than 40 minutes. Two major international airports and a slew of smaller airports are scattered about the islands, and once in the Bahamas, visitors can traverse attractions by way of taxi, rental car, scooter or bus. Ferries and water taxis are also readily available to quickly transport guests from one delightful island to the next.

Drawn not just by the proximity of this international destination, meeting planners in the United States are also pleased to take advantage of the Bahamas' tax exemption status. Since 2006, U.S. taxpayers who attend business meetings, conventions or seminars in the Bahamas can write off the expense just as if it were held in the United States. Plus, U.S. visitors need not worry about currency exchange, as U.S. dollars are accepted interchangeably with the official Bahamian currency.

Whether hailing from the United States or elsewhere, meeting and convention groups find impressive accommodations and state-of-the-art facilities at the many stunning mega resorts that sprawl across the islands. On the aptly named Paradise Island, the widely-recognized Atlantis Resort stands as an iconic symbol of the majestic beauty of the Bahamas. Always ahead of the curve, Atlantis has expanded its world-class conference center to include the 50,000-square-foot Imperial Ballroom, the largest ballroom in the Caribbean. With a total meeting and event space of 300,000 square feet, the center is equipped with 20 scenic outdoor spaces, 30,000 square feet of pre-function space, 26 breakout rooms, a large staging area and two new high-tech executive boardrooms.

On Grand Bahama Island, just six miles from the Grand Bahama International Airport, the Westin Grand Bahama Island Our Lucaya Resort offers 90,000 square feet of event space including 20 indoor meeting rooms and nine outdoor meeting spaces. Whether hosting a gala in the 15,000-square-foot ballroom or an outdoor gathering on the scenic 43,954-square-foot Sugar Mill Beach, the Lucaya provides modern, well-appointed facilities for events of all types. After a day of meetings, attendees can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the rambling white sands, hit the links at the resort's championship golf courses, try their luck at the casino, or cool off in one of four luxurious pools. With so much to offer, it's not surprising that Forbes magazine named the resort one of its Top 400 Hotels, and Corporate & Incentive Travel awarded it the 2006 Award of Excellence.

Beyond such impressive facilities, the Bahamas offers a number of alternative spaces that provide an unforgettable backdrop for meetings and events. Host an outdoor reception among the bronze visages and historic stone abbey of the breathtaking Versailles Gardens and French Cloister on Paradise Island. Invite up to 300 guests to feast on sumptuous Italian cuisine from the group menus offered at Nassau's popular Ristorante Villaggio Cocktail & Wine Bar. Or, for a more artistic atmosphere, groups can gather on the grounds of an 1860s villa at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas.

Several high profile corporations are headquartered on the islands including Bahamasair, Global Environmental Energy Corporation, Kerzner International Holdings, Ltd., Steiner Leisure, Ltd., Teekay Corporation and Ultrapetrol, Ltd. In addition, the islands are home to Nova Southeastern University, the Eugene Dupuch Law School and the College of the Bahamas, which has campuses in both Nassau and Freeport.

About Bahamas / Additional Info

Situated just 40 miles off the coast of Florida, the welcoming Islands of the Bahamas are speckled across more than 500 miles of brilliant, sapphire waters. Collectively forming a sweeping 100,000-square-mile archipelago, the Bahamas consists of 14 main islands that serve as hub for the remaining 686 islands and uninhabited cays (pronounced "keys"). Out of its more than 330,000 residents, approximately 70 percent of the population resides on New Providence Island and its capital city of Nassau.

With a prime location within busy shipping channels, the Bahamas became a popular spot for traders, explorers and settlers since Christopher Columbus set foot on the islands in 1942. During the 17th and 18th centuries, smugglers and marauding pirates frequented the shielded islets and hidden channels of the islands, which became a haven for infamous rogues such as Blackbeard and Calico Jack. The legends of this sea-faring age, combined with the slave trade and British rule that dominated the Bahamas until 1973, remains evident at every turn, from the replica pirate ship at the Pirates of Nassau Museum to the cannons and ramparts at 1788 Fort Charlotte.

With island after island offering vibrant coral reefs, powdery white sands and lapis blue lagoons, it's no surprise that historic sightseeing often takes backstage to the Bahamas' unparalleled recreational opportunities. With a visibility of over 200 feet below, the waters surrounding the Bahamas are among the clearest in the world, an ideal setting for swimmers, boaters, divers and snorkelers looking to be a part of the underwater action. Explore coral reefs and the famous "Lost Blue Hole," a 200-foot-wide natural opening in the ocean floor, with the Bahamas Divers' professional guides in Nassau. Snorkel, parasail, or cruise the waters on a glass-bottom boat hosted by Paradise Watersports. Get up-close and personal with aquatic life at the Dolphin Encounters experience on Blue Lagoon Island.

The Bahamas' tropical oasis is a delight for land lovers as well. Beyond the sand and surf, the islands are home to several championship fairways. Golf enthusiasts from around the world come to the Bahamas to stare down a sea of green at the Tom Weiskopf-designed Ocean Club Golf Course, home to the world's largest sand trap. Visitors can also immerse themselves in the game at the 6,824-yard Lucayan Golf Course, whose pine tree stands and dense tropical underbrush create a setting so intimate that players rarely run into each other during a round.

After a long day under the tropical sun, there's no better way to kick back and relax like a local than by enjoying a frosty cocktail at one of the islands' numerous clubs and lounges. Cool off with one of the popular coconut-flavored drinks at Rum Runner's Bar in Port Lucaya, or hit the dance floor at hotspot Club Waterloo, one of the longest running nightclubs on the islands. Nothing shines brighter on the Bahamas nightlife scene than its dazzling casinos. The Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino entices guests with its Vegas-style gaming room and 800-seat theater, while the casino at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort raises the stakes with high-tech gaming facilities that are the largest in the Caribbean. Though the casinos may test their luck, visitors to the Bahamas can rest assured that the islands are always a sure bet for entertainment, recreation and relaxation.

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