Numbers remain on the up and up
An optimistic Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar declared that “tourism is going to do extremely well this year”, as he indicated that business is on the uptick during the 2018 Spring Break season on Monday.
“New Providence is experiencing a surge in foreign visitors,” D’Aguilar told Eyewitness News Online outside the House of Assembly.
“There seems to be a feeling; a belief that the Bahamas is hot right now. People want to come here.”
According to the tourism minister, although the country is only one month into spring break 2018, all hotels are full and stop over visitors are up 7.9 per cent compared to 2017.
“From what I’m hearing and seeing, every place [is] busy and all the hotels are full,” D’Aguilar said.
“The tour companies are doing well [and] if you speak with the realtors, people are interested in investing in The Bahamas again.”
D’Aguilar boasted that “Family Islands are on fire” with more than 300,000 visitors expected to travel to the out-islands this year.
“I just think it bodes well,” he affirmed.
Local shops, he said, are also experiencing the benefits of the “mini boom” thanks to stop-over visitors spending twenty times more than the cruise passenger.
Eyewitness News Online spoke with Byron Austin, owner of popular tourist attraction Tiki Bikini Hut, who said his business has seen a noticeable increase in tourist patrons and revenue so far this season.
“We have noticed that definitely there has been an increase,” said Austin.
“We’ve seen tons of visitors coming; lots of spring breakers.
The 15-year-old business is located at Junkanoo Beach – the heart of spring break recreation in New Providence.
“I think it’s healthy for the economy, great for The Bahamas and I am just proud and excited to be a part of it,” he shared.
“In my opinion, this is the best spring break we have had in years.”