NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Total arrivals to The Bahamas contracted by some 56 percent during the first half of the year, according to data released by the Central Bank.
The regulator, in its monthly economic and financial developments report for July, noted that the tourism sector remained contracted during the month of June as COVID-19 travel restrictions “largely eliminated” both air and sea arrivals.
“As the border was partially re-opened to international travelers by private aviation and boat on June 15, preliminary data provided by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) revealed that total foreign arrivals for the month of June reached 3,935, relative to the 18.8 percent increase to 641,410 a year earlier,” the report read.
“Specifically, sea arrivals totaled 2,230, in contrast to the 22.9 percent expansion to 473,018 in June 2019. Similarly, air arrivals were just 1,705, in comparison to an 8.7 percent growth to 168,392 in the previous year.”
It further noted that a breakdown by major port of entry showed that total visitors to New Providence reduced to a mere 1,032, vis-à-vis a 20.5 percent increase to 333,519 in the preceding year, with sea and air visitors amounting to 549 and 483, respectively.
“Similarly, total arrivals to the Family Islands declined to 2,359, relative to the 20.1 percent improvement to 239,952 last year, underpinned by air and sea arrivals falling to 1,148 and 1,211, respectively,” it continued.
“Further, visitors to Grand Bahama decreased to 544, after a 7.4 percent gain to 67,939 in the prior year, as the sea and air visitors amounted to a muted 470 and 74, respectively. During the first half of the year, total arrivals contracted by 56.1 percent, a turnaround from a 14.1 percent expansion recorded in the same period of 2019, reflecting reductions of 64.4 percent in air traffic, and 53.3 percent in sea passengers,” the Central Bank reported.
As the country’s borders officially re-opened to commercial air traffic on July 1, the Central Bank noted that the most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) showed that total international departures amounted to just 8,933 during the review month, in comparison to the 10.3 per cent improvement, to 171,320 in the same period of 2019.
With regard to the vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA for the month of July revealed a 54.2 percent decline in total room nights sold, vis-à-vis the same period last year.
The decline was underpinned by contractions of 54.9 percent and 45.8 percent in bookings for entire place listings and hotel comparable listings, respectively, according to the Central Bank.