Nassau, Bahamas – The Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation in Tallahassee, Florida, this week addressed the Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters’ “Alpha Day on the Hill” leadership gathering under the theme “Continuing the Legacy of Service and Advocacy in our Communities”. The event took place on 25 January at Florida Historic Capitol Museum.
In a bid to boost the country’s groups business, DPM Cooper promoted The Islands of The Bahamas as an ideal destination for the fraternity’s meetings and conferences.
DPM Cooper said: “I embraced this opportunity to speak to a gathering that encompasses representatives from all Florida chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha. Our sales team in the United States has been seriously engaging with social groups like fraternities, and as a result, we are seeing more and more fraternities such as Alpha Phi Alpha selecting The Bahamas as the location for their meetings. Alphas in Florida are just half-hour away from The Bahamas.”
Alpha Phi Alpha holds the distinction of being the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American men. It was founded in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men. Today, the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity membership worldwide totals 290,000.
“The year 2023 was a banner year in tourism that brought us an unprecedented 8 million plus in visitor arrivals,” said DPM Cooper.
“Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions, what we call the MICE industry, accounts for 40% of all tourism business to The Bahamas. Fraternities are an important subset of the overall MICE market. MICE is a high growth market that delivers large numbers of visitors per event, hundreds, and in some cases thousands of visitors. This is a sector that we are pursuing vigorously, with the overall goal of increasing our stop-over visitor numbers.”
In 2023, The Bahamas experienced a 25% increase in MICE business over pre-pandemic levels. According to the Incentive Research Foundation, in 2024, companies across the United States are forecast to increase their budget allocations for incentive programmes by 37%. This development bodes well for The Bahamas, which has positioned itself as a leading destination for the MICE market in the Caribbean.
The Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters’ Alpha Day on the Hill Event is an annual event held in Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, during the start of the Florida’s legislature session. The goal of the event is to hear from legislators on various bills and legislation and to advocate for issues and concerns impacting the African American community.
DPM Cooper concludes his trip to Tallahassee with a courtesy call on Dr. Larry Robinson, President of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).