BOUNCE BACK: Abaco resort operator hoping for summer uptick in bookings

BOUNCE BACK: Abaco resort operator hoping for summer uptick in bookings
Bluff House Beach Resort and Marina, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco.

ABACO, BAHAMAS — An Abaco resort operator said yesterday that she was anticipating a “bounce back” in June and July, noting that while there are many small resorts and businesses in the Abacos welcoming visitors, the lack of airlift has proven to be a challenge.

Molly McIntosh, general manager of the Bluff House Beach Resort and Marina, Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, told Eyewitness News: “Airlift is a problem as there [are a] limited number of seats to get to Abaco.

“I saw someone post while in Exuma that they heard Abaco was closed to flights, that you couldn’t fly into Abaco at all, and so misinformation is a problem, too.”

She noted that potential guests have been complaining about the airlift issue.

Bahamas Out Island Promotion Board (BOIPB) Executive Director Kerry Fountain confirmed to Eyewitness News that Abaco tourism stakeholders, including hotels and home owners’ associations, and along with the Abaco Chamber of Commerce, had a meeting recently with Bahamasair to specifically discuss the possibility of increasing the frequency of the Palm Beach-Marsh Harbour service.

According to Fountain, “nothing has been decided as yet”.

He noted that Delta has also made inquiries regarding Marsh Harbour as well as Freeport.

McIntosh told Eyewitness News: “While Marsh Harbour is still in the heavy rebuilding stage, there are so many out islands and small businesses and small resorts in Abaco and we are welcoming guests and want to welcome even more.

“It is helping our economy and the people traveling are feeling so good about being able to help jump start the economy of Abaco and the small business owners.

“As long as we are able to do the rapid tests here on-island on Green Turtle Cay, we will continue to get people in. That is critical as the availability and pricing of tests so that people can travel back to the US. I’ve been hearing some concern that visitors do not want to be stuck and unable to travel home should an emergency arise.”

She added: “Bluff House just opened our Tranquil Turtle Beach Bar on March 22. Our rooms will open in May. We have a nice big wedding on the beach scheduled in June on the beach.

“I am encouraged. I hope to get vaccinated soon and as more people get vaccinated in the states, they will feel more comfortable traveling and as long as they know Abaco is doing all we can to keep our people safe and to protect our guests, I know Florida will have a lot of people coming to Abaco.

“Summertime is huge for us and Green Turtle Cay looks like a little Palm Beach in the summer, so those extra flights from Palm Beach to Marsh Harbour, Abaco, should help entice people to come over and hopefully will help Bahamasair with revenue increases and higher load factors.

“June and July look to be really bouncing back. There are not enough rooms, houses, golf cart or boat rentals available for the amount of people that want to come to Green Turtle Cay.”