Harbour Island Voted World’s Best Island in the Caribbean Region

Island Wins Travel+Leisure Magazine’s 2015 World’s Best Award

Nassau, Bahamas, July 24th, 2015 – Top officials and power players from the travel industry gathered to be honored by the Editor-In-Chief of Travel+Leisure Magazine, Nathan Lump for the magazine’s annual World’s Best Awards. Staged this year at New York City’s Modern Space, Joy Jibrilu, director general, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, who was accompanied by Jacqueline Ramsey, Director of Sustainable Tourism for The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, walked away with top honors as Harbour Island was voted ‘Best Island in the Caribbean’.

Travel and leisure awards

The photo shows holding the photo, Joy Jibrilu, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism at right and Jacqueline Ramsey, Director of Sustainable Tourism for The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism at left.

“The people of The Bahamas and of Harbour Island in particular are thrilled to receive this remarkable award. We are proud that the publication’s most discerning travelers who rated the experiences of travelers in the annual World’s Best 2015 readers’ survey selected Harbour Island.  Harbour Island was once the capital of The Bahamas so this makes the award a poignant tribute. We invite everyone to visit and discover the pink sand beaches, secluded coves and the extraordinary coral reefs while enjoying the unique experiences that so impressed Travel + Leisure’s global travelers.  We will commemorate this special award in Harbour Island very soon, ” stated the Director General.

For the last 20 years, Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards has been the travel industry’s leading barometer of the places and companies that are satisfying the most passionate and sophisticated travelers. According to Nathan Lump, “The Awards showcase a widely changed travel landscape, one in which exotic destinations, intimate hotels, and one-of-a-kind experiences stand out from the crowd, meeting the preferences of individuals who have been all around the world and are seeking out ever more distinctive travel options.”

Travel+Leisure asked their readers to cast votes on their 20th annual poll for the hotels, destinations and companies that stood out from the rest and embodied the very best in travel. Exumas, Bahamas was honored to earn 2nd place at last year’s awards while Harbour Island was previously ranked one of the “Best Bahamas Beaches” by leading travel media including Fodors, Frommers, and The Travel Channel.

Harbour Island is only 3.5 miles long by 1.5 mile wide but besides the glorious three-mile pink sand beach, island lovers will see 18th century holiday houses painted in watercolor pastels.  Purple morning glories and sky-blue plumbagos spill over white picket fences that line the narrow lanes that surround the historic dwellings. Do not be surprised to bump into local homeowners, media mogul Barry Diller and his wife and world famous desiger, Diane von Furstenberg; duty-free tycoon Robert Miller, Revlon chairman Ron Perelman; J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler; Bill Gates or former Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, just to name a few.

Visitors are encouraged to enjoy Harbour Island’s hidden gems.  Sunday services at Lighthouse Church of God on Chapel Street are a spiritual treat that comes with live music by Pastor Sam Higgs. Mick Jagger and Lenny Kravitz have been known to show up in Pastor Sam’s congregation.

Jacqueline Ramsey shared, “This award is a big win for the people of Harbour Island because it showcases their dedication to provide the very best experience for our visitors. With our varied accommodations, some visitors stay at ‘off-the-beaten-track’ while for a holiday in the lap of luxury, others enjoy the services of swanky resorts, five star dining and luxury villas. Harbour Island is the perfect destination for a tropical vacation that will be an unforgettable experience. Spending time with the wise and opinionated ‘Ma Ruby’ Percentie as she holds court in her restaurant at Tingum Village or running into India Hicks, English model and second cousin and goddaughter of Prince Charles, whose house here, Hibiscus Hill, has been in virtually every home magazine are all part of the charm”.  She concluded, “Bahamas has 16 wonderful and unique islands and many cays that we invite everyone to discover. We are waiting to welcome you.”

Contributed by Anita Johnson-Patty     Bahamas Ministry of Tourism     ajohnson@bahamas.com

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