NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Following the reopening of the country’s borders to international travel on July 1, this nation recorded just over 23,000 visitors for that month, according to the Central Bank.
The regulator in its monthly economic and financial developments report for August noted that data provided by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) showed that the number of visitor arrivals totaled 23,398 during the month of July, following a reopening of international borders to commercial travel on July 1.
“This was compared with a 7.9 percent expansion in the previous year, to 650,353. In particular, air arrivals amounted to 14,970, in contrast to a 7.7 percent growth to 175,971 in the same month of 2019. Further, sea arrivals totaled 8,428, relative to an 8 percent expansion to 474,382 a year earlier.
“By major port of entry, total arrivals to New Providence declined to 7,899, contrasting with a 2.9 percent uptick in the prior year, to 329,520, with the air and sea components comprising 7,199 and 700, respectively,” the Central Bank reported.
The bank noted that total traffic to the Family Islands decreased to 13,645, vis-à-vis a 17.8 percent increase to 241,962 in the preceding year, reflecting reductions in the air and sea traffic segments, to 7,253 and 6,392, respectively.
The country reopened its borders to international travel on July 1.
Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis subsequently announced that beginning July 22, only international commercial flights and commercial vessels carrying passengers from Canada, the United Kingdom, or the European Union were allowed to enter the Bahamas.
That decision was however short-lived. The country’s borders had been opened to international travelers by private aviation and boat on June 15.
“On a year to date basis, total arrivals contracted by 61.9 percent, a reversal from a 13.2 percent increase during the same period of the preceding year. Underlying this out-turn, the air component fell by 68.5 percent, while the sea segment decreased by 59.6 percent,” said the Central Bank.
It added: “The latest data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) revealed that total international departures stood at 2,139 during the month of August, relative to seasonal growth of 12.1 percent to 169,045 in the preceding year.
“On a year-to-date basis, outward-bound traffic declined by 68.5 percent, a turnaround from a 17 percent expansion during the comparable period of 2019. By destination, the US component reduced by 69.7 percent, a reversal from an 18.4 percent increase in the prior year. Similarly, the non-U.S. international component fell by 60.8 percent vis-à-vis a gain of 8.3 percent a year ago.”
What is status / plan for yachts cruising islands? Will they once successfully qualifying for entry in the Bahamas with testing be able to sail around islands or be restricted and have to “quarantine ” with each island arrival?