D’Aguilar projects double-digit growth in Tourism with new forecasting tool

Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D'Aguilar.

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said that his ministry is predicting double-digit increases in tourism arrivals before December 2018, with significant growth in cruise numbers.

D’Aguilar shared that his ministry has recently employed a new computer-generated platform to assist it with monitoring current and projected tourist arrivals into the country.

“We now have this program called ‘Forward Keys,’ which allows us to go forward six to eight months to see what tickets, as of today, have been purchased,” he shared.

“When we compare the numbers this year, to last year, double digit growth is being projected based on these forward projections.”

Online travel agency Expedia revealed Monday that there has been a 40 per cent jump in flight bookings to The Bahamas over the last year.

D’Aguilar said the revelation came as no surprise to his ministry.

“We have seen upward trends for six months now,” noted the tourism minister.

“It seems that The Bahamas is hot right now, what we are seeing is a substantial increase of double digit growth in the most substantial sector of tourism business, which is stop-over visitors.

“There have been record arrivals at the airport.  You’re (also) hearing about record arrivals through Expedia, and that is reflecting in our numbers to date.”

D’Aguilar continued, “I am waiting for my March numbers so I have a first quarter report. I expect to have that in hand shortly, but I am projecting a significant growth in our stopover visitors.”

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis echoed the tourism minister’s sentiments Tuesday and said,  “Tourism is doing exceptionally well in The Bahamas.”

While projected revenue statistics prove promising, the prime minister revealed that the government has plans to revitalize the tourism product in New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.

“We must better monetize cruise ship visits to New Providence and Grand Bahama. There are a number of developments being negotiated for the Family Islands. We will announce a number of upgrades for infrastructure including a number of Family Island airports,” revealed the prime minister.

“Here in New Providence, the ongoing transformation of Downtown, Nassau is essential for the overall visitor experience.”