Site Young Leader Lonise Carey, MHA, is the Managing Partner of Island Destination Services Ltd., a leading destination management and special events company in the Bahamas and preferred vendor for Atlantis, Paradise Island. Her responsibilities include overall business strategy, and the overseeing of sales, planning, and operations departments for corporate meetings, incentive travel and special events. With a team that is focused on service excellence and expands to 75 staff for large travel programs and events, her company provides exposure and opportunities for Bahamian businesses that are hidden gems. She also facilitates an apprenticeship program to mentor aspiring young entrepreneurs and assist in the professional development of college students. During this year’s 40th Anniversary of The Bahamas Independence, Lonise was recognized as a young trailblazer in the Travel & Hospitality Industry and received a "40 Under 40" award from Jones Communications Network.
Site Source: Why did you choose the Travel & Hospitality industry as a profession?
Lonise Carey: I graduated from St. Andrew's in Nassau, Bahamas and attained a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing from Howard University, Washington, D.C., where I was a Lyford Cay Scholar, National Dean’s List Scholar and member of the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, Iota Rho Chapter. While studying for my degree I worked evenings, weekends and summers interning at various companies with the goal of gaining practical experience and defining my career path. After an advertising internship at Bozell Worldwide in New York, an internship at a law firm in Washington, D.C. and a Food and Beverage Management trainee position at the Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C., I realized that I gravitated toward more people focused careers. I accepted a job offer from Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where I gained invaluable exposure to a cross-section of hotel departments through the development of cutting edge service training initiatives and employee retention programs. Simultaneously, as a Gaming Today Fellowship Award Recipient, I earned my Master of Science in Hotel Administration, with a focus on special events, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Site Source: What are your career aspirations?
Lonise: As tourism is the number one industry in the Bahamas, the opportunities for growth are endless. I plan to invest in our family islands and own businesses that are centered on eco-tourism and embody the true beauty of Bahamian culture. In addition to providing quality destination experiences, I also wish to develop unique avenues to increase social responsibility in our industry.
Site Source: What do you feel are the most valuable benefits of being a member of Site, specifically Site Young Leaders?
Lonise: As a leader, I continuously motivate and train my staff. I joined Site because it is an organization that is a source of inspiration and offers a wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities with other industry professionals. The most valuable benefits of being a member of Site, and specifically Site Young Leaders, are the contacts, the exchange of ideas and common bond with others who are in parallel positions. As young leaders across the globe, we face similar challenges and have similar goals. Site gives us a global platform to collectively create and build a strong future for the Travel and Hospitality industry.