GBPA president says Grand Bahama “finally joining the party” as tourism numbers improve

GBPA president says Grand Bahama “finally joining the party” as tourism numbers improve

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) highlighted the island’s significant improvement in tourism performance, declaring that it is “finally joining the party.”

Ian Rolle, GBPA president while addressing the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) annual general meeting noted that the island’s tourism sector has seen a significant improvement over last year.

“We are finally joining the party,” said Rolle. “As of September 2023, air and sea arrivals increased by 65 percent compared to last year. Air-only arrivals increased by approximately 44 percent.”

Rolle noted that there is a need for more room inventory on the island with 1,500 plus rooms currently available.  “Room occupancy increased by 20 percent compared to the same period in 2022,” Rolle added.

He noted that the island offers over 40 excursions and attractions over 120 restaurants and bars. Rolle also noted that additional airlift is coming to the island, most notably via Bahamas Air and the Canada-based carrier Sunwing. 

Rolle also highlighted the $500 million Carnival Cruise Port project which he described as a “big deal” for the Grand Bahama economy. 

Carnival Cruise Lines is expected to hire about 300 plus direct employees and create more than 400 indirect jobs through the port development. Additionally, there will be 50 retail outlets of varying sizes and more than 20 food and beverage outlets. Eighteen ships from more than ten ports are anticipated to visit the destination. More than two million guests are expected to visit the port annually.