Following the recent pull out of international and local flight carriers out of Grand Bahama; the Ministry of Tourism’s Airlift Division is currently waiting on significant progress in the resale of the Grand Lucayan Resort before it aggressively pursues added airlift into the island, according to Tyrone Sawyer the senior director of airlift for the Ministry of Toruism..
“We want to dampen any inclination that anyone needs to be too concerned about their pull-out,” Sawyer assured.
“We miss it and we look forward to working with Sunwing and other partners in the future, but it’s [only] 7 per cent of the total air seat component into Grand Bahamas, so we’re not panicking.
“We are working with existing partners, including Bahamasair, to ensure that we build up and maintain the number of seats that we need.”
Sawyer continued, “What’s more important is that once we’ve got an announcement on the actual Grand Lucayan, that’s when we have to put in a major effort to bring in the incremental airlift that we will need for those additional rooms.”
It was on October 11 that the Canadian-based airline company, Sunwing, announced that it would be cancelling its flight services into Grand Bahama.
Similarly, local airline company, Sky Bahamas, also recently reduced its frequency of service to Grand Bahama.
Sawyer confirmed that Sunwing only accounted for seven per cent airlift into Grand Bahama and Sky Bahamas’ contribution was even lower than that.
Based on these statistics, he affirmed that there is no need for alarm and that the Ministry of Tourism’s Airlift Division would kick into overdrive once some sort of “excitement,” begins to brew on the island.
“We within the Ministry of Tourism and the airlift unit are waiting on government to make its decision on the new partner [for the Grand Lucayan], so that we can make sure that we have the added new airlift in place by the time of the new rooms come on board,” shared Sawyer.
“Usually what happens is that people equate additional seats with air stop over arrivals. I’d just like to dispel that myth a little.
“The incremental growth in air stop over visitor comes from demand. You’ve got to create the excitement about Grand Bahama. Once we create that excitement airlines will tend to come because people are demanding it.”
Sawyer confirmed that the Ministry of Tourism is actively engaged with international marketing teams to ensure that the product is ready for mass marketing once the resort has been sold.
He also revealed that the ministry’s marketing spend will also be increased to ensure that the island is adequately marketed.