NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The message that The Bahamas is ‘open for business’ is starting to resonate in this nation’s core tourism markets, according to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.
D’Aguilar said: “I think the Ministry of Tourism has done an excellent job getting the message out that the Bahamas is open for business.
“While we have suffered some significant damage from Dorian, much of our tourism infrastructure, 85- 90 per cent cent of it was not impacted. That message is starting to resonate in our core markets.”
“We’re optimistic,” D’Aguilar continued.
“What we are seeing is, if you look four months out the numbers can be quite depressing but as you move closer to each month the numbers improve dramatically.
“What that is telling us is potential visitors are booking later than they were in that past but they are booking none the less. We had a good Christmas, January is looking promising, February is looking alright and April is looking promising.
He added: “As we looking through our first quarter, March is our only concerning month but we know that now so we can mobilize resources to try and close the gap between this year and last year.”
D’Aguilar was also asked about the status of Bahamasair’s jets which earlier this month were unable to fly to the US as of January 1, 2020, because they have not been fitted with the necessary flight tracking technology required by industry regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
D’Aguilar said: “I think the chairman has spoken to this at length and he has informed the public that the necessary equipment has been acquired and they expect the navigational devices to be installed in the aircraft before the end of this month and so those two aircraft should be returned to service by the end of the month.
“One went way for heavy service and will be out of commission for 75 days but as a part of that service that navigational box will be put in that aircraft so when it returns to service it will be ready to go.
“There has been no disruption in service. The entire itinerary has been met, flights have been flown, schedules have been maintained and so to the traveling public there should not have been any noticeable difference because of this mishap.”
Bahamasair’s three older 737-500 jets were unable to fly to the US as of January 1, 2020, because they had not been fitted with the necessary flight tracking technology required by industry regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).