While it felt like winter outside, Atlantis Paradise Island brought a bit of the Bahamas north to its Canadian travel partners last night, saying thanks for another year of support and marking the resort’s 20th anniversary.
Enjoying the sounds of the Caribbean, travel trade members took in a brief history of the resort and learned more about what Atlantis has to offer travellers.
Atlantis has come a long way since original founder Sol Kerzner purchased the island, long developed as a resort destination, in 1992 from TV star Merv Griffin, who owned the island during much of the 1980s. In December 1994, the property was open to visitors seeking a Bahamas getaway.
Bringing the concept of the legendary sunken city to the island’s existing resort property, Atlantis has grown considerably over the last two decades, said Amy Mencl, director of leisure sales (retail, Central U.S. & Canada). Since opening, it has seen the addition of multiple towers, as well as guest attractions such as the 141-acre Aquaventure water park (featuring several water slides and a mile-long lazy river known as The Current), Dolphin Cay (where guests can interact with the attraction’s namesake) and The Dig, the resort’s marine habitat featuring numerous displays of more than 50,000 sea creatures presented in the resort’s sunken city theme.
Melissa Alexander, Atlantis’ director of sales, told PAX in a recap of 2014 that the past year featured some of the resort’s “best months historically.” With Atlantis counting Canada as its largest international tourist market, she added that on average, Canadian vacationers account for 32,000 of Atlantis’ annual room nights, due in part to the amount of available airlift to Bahamas and the resort’s proximity to Canadian sun-seekers. Alexander attributed the strength of the Canadian tourist market to its tour operator partners in promoting and selling the resort to customers.
The anniversary celebration will continue into 2015, she said, with social media promotions and an ongoing reinvestment into the property (including a new poker room opening at the resort), an important factor in ensuring repeat visitors are treated to something different from their last vacation to Atlantis.
“It’s important to improve and innovate,” said Alexander, “because every time our guests come back, there’s something new for them to check out.”
More about Atlantis
- The resort offers a number of restaurants featuring menus by some of the world’s top celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay and Nobu Matsuhisa. Mencl said that advance reservations are highly recommended for any Atlantis eatery.
- A Wine and Dine pass is available exclusively to Canadian travellers.
- Six different accommodation options are available for guests, based on the factors of price, personality and proximity to attractions.
- Travellers seeking a quieter time to visit Atlantis can head to the resort in January or between late August and December, which Mencl said is the resort’s low season.
- The resort’s marine habitat, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is the largest open-air habitat of its kind in the Caribbean, where animals still have some access to natural elements such as sunlight, allowing for different behaviours throughout the day, said Alexander. Unique inhabitants include the small-tooth sawfish and a newly-created lagoon dedicated to hawksbill sea turtles.
PHOTO: Melissa Alexander, director of sales; Amy Mencl, director of leisure sales (Retail, Central U.S. & Canada).