PRESS RELEASE: A few short months ago, Instagram feeds were filled with rich, diverse and colorful images of men and women travelling the world. Many were going on adventures to far off countries, or in the process of planning, booking, and dreaming about trips to the farthest corners of the planet or to their neighboring family islands. But, in the wake of COVID-19, that all changed. From Dec 1-5, Bahamian travel writer, Nikia Wells, will host a Digital Expo that will explore how members of the local travel, tourism and hospitality community have adapted and evolved since the start of the ongoing pandemic. 


Many travellers and those who have worked in related fields have been facing unchartered territory since early March. The Digital Travel & Hospitality Expo will aim to discuss a wide range of topics related to domestic and international travel. Over the course of the multiple day online forum, a diverse group of industry professionals will be featured via a 50+ page Digital Magazine and a series of daily video interviews and discussions. Interviews will feature Sherrexcia “Rexy” Rolle (Western Air), Carmel Churchill (Doncar Management), Cutelle Neymour (Goombay House), Anthony “AC” Coakley (One Family), Jewel McIntosh (True Love Travel), Sandy Franks (Island Food Tours), Jonathan Hanna (Nassau Airport Development), L’oreal Sweeting (Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board), Valdez K. Russel (VKR Insights), and Leslie Vanderpool (Bahamas International Film Festival). 


Wells notes that the discussions will be hopeful, yet realistic and she is excited to share the stories of so many members of the Bahamas travel, hospitality and tourism industry. “The idea for the Pinksands242 Digital Expo started several months ago. I truly missed travel, but more importantly I wondered how members of that community were coping, how they were adapting their businesses and services, and what the future would look like for them.”


While the digital expo will include 10 video features, the corresponding online magazine will share the stories of many other men and women. “There were just so many stories to tell, and I could not realistically film them all. I saw all of these world class, talented chefs and mixologists and other talented professionals starting their own businesses out of necessity, and there were so many others who created something positive during such a challenging time, so I created the magazine to highlight their journeys.”


Pinksands 242 was started in September 2014 as a small passion project aimed at allowing Wells to share her adventures with others. Since then, it has grown a support base of 3000+ strong, and continues to celebrate cultures, people, cuisine, art, music, sights, and sounds from around the world. The expo is an extension of Wells’ love of world exploration and storytelling. 


“This online showing truly is a passion project for me. My love for travel and world exploration began during my undergraduate studies at Saint Leo University, in Florida where I joined the non-profit Haitian Education Project Inc. as their Development Director. After getting involved in the school’s diverse international and cultural awareness initiatives, I developed a deep interest in learning about different cultures, people, and countries. The expo is just an extension of that desire to shine a light on those who make the travel industry run and shine.” added Wells. 


In addition to daily video content that will be hosted on the Pinksands242 digital platforms and website, viewers will be treated to photo and trivia contests courtesy of the digital event’s prize sponsors, which include Lowe’s Pharmacy, the Caribbean Bottling Company Bahamas Ltd, The Restaurant Supply Company and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd. The MOVI Group also facilitated the filming of Wells’ interview with Valdez K. Russel of VKR Insights.