Tourism is changing rapidly. People are rejecting canned tours and resort living in favor of immersive experiences. This push started in independent travel more than a decade ago — now it’s hit the mainstream. Big brands can’t deny that the largest market segment travels differently and holds authenticity in the highest regard. In a year that’s been marred by xenophobia, properties are learning to celebrate local heritage and history.
Atlantis resort, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, is diving into this new era headfirst. For nearly two decades, Atlantis has been what Americans associate with mega resorts: sweeping waterparks, underwater gift shops, and celebrity chef run restaurants. That’s not to say that these are bad things. For a resort of its size, Atlantis has always done a remarkably good job of feeling… homey. The food is crowd pleasing without being boring and the beaches are as stunning as any screensaver-Bahamian-fantasy could ever ask.
Still, it’s tough to deny that Atlantis felt like it was sort of doing its own thing. Not so much a part of the Bahamas as an independent republic. (Ironically, the island that Atlantis is built on once was an independent republic, ruled by pirates.) With a new set of community-supported initiatives, the resort seems to be recognizing the tidal shift in how people travel.
“The world has changed since Atlantis first opened,” reads a statement by Howard C. Karawan, President of Atlantis. “We needed to bring the soul and richness of our location and our people to the forefront.”
The result is a multi-platform collaboration that will celebrate local storytellers, artisans, and creative thinkers. The first entry is a short film titled Come to Life — which sets the tone for a the new era at the property.