NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday suggested The Bahamas could be one of the first countries to benefit from a cruise industry rebound, noting that visitors may be more inclined to shorter cruises.
D’Aguilar underscored the ‘untold stress’ caused by the COVID-19 fallout during an interview with John Kirk, president of Travel Pulse Canada.
He stressed the country’s record 7.2 million visitors now stands at zero.
“We’re all sitting on the edge of our seat waiting to get to the other side of this,” said D’Aguilar.
The Tourism minister noted that 82 percent of the country’s visitors come from the United States and another seven percent from Canada.
D’Aguilar said the country must figure out how to attract visitors to the country and ensure that visitors as well as those operating within the tourism sector feel safe.
“How do we attract people to our country and give them the feeling generally that this is a safe country? How do we assure our people that when the foreign visitors come here we are not going to make them sick as well,” he said.
“Last year we had 5.4 million cruise passengers. We are a very large cruise destination primarily because of our geography where we are wonderfully situated between the three busiest ports in the world.
He added: “I think that when people start cruising again they will probably take advantage of the short cruise, the three day cruise. They will want to try it out.”