MOTA says Bahamian tourism industry “heating up” with new developments

MOTA says Bahamian tourism industry “heating up” with new developments

FNM praises “positive momentum”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas is heating up this spring with the recent announcement of the return of cruising to the destination in the coming months and Expedia Group’s North American sites showing a 170 percent increase in searches about the destination in February, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA).

“With a number of additional reopenings, The Bahamas is ready to continue to bring visitors the unparalleled vacation experience it is known for,” the ministry noted in a statement.

The MOTA mentioned the March 25 reopening of Grand Bahama’s Lighthouse Pointe, “as part of the phased reopening of the Grand Lucayan resort”, in addition to the recent reopening of the famed John Watling’s Distillery, which is now offering free tours to visitors from 10am to 6pm seven days a week.

It pointed to the recent announcement of Crystal Cruises and Royal Caribbean launching Bahamas cruise itineraries this summer, as well as its own launch of a digital romance magazine.

“On the heels of its incredibly successful trade and consumer virtual romance expo, From The Bahamas With Love, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation launched its digital romance magazine by the same name,” MOTA stated.

“The magazine features exclusive wedding planning content, including top venue recommendations, bachelorette party planning inspiration and made-in-The-Bahamas décor and styling tips.”

The MOTA also heralded the highly-anticipated expansion of Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina, which it noted is expected by Q4 2021.

“Famous among yachters, the highly-anticipated reopening of Hurricane Hole Superyacht Marina at Paradise Landing is slated for completion Q4 2021,” its statement read.

“The totally rebuilt marina will feature luxury dockside residences, world-class retail, fine dining and extensive amenities designed for owners, guests and yacht crew, as well as docks up to 420 feet and 6,100 linear feet of deep water floating.”

The ministry also noted that The Bahamas Customs and Excise Department and Ministry of Finance have developed electronic portals for boating and fishing permits to be booked online, with a view to “ensure the ease of travel for all boaters and fishermen traveling to The Bahamas”.

The Free National Movement (FNM), in a separate statement, praised a perceived uptick in tourism as the Minnis “administration continues responsible reopening”.

“Based on the number of health visas purchased — which reached 60,000 — March was the busiest month for tourism since the start of the pandemic,” the FNM’s statement read.

“This is an encouraging sign. As vaccinations increase in our tourism source countries, we hope the arrivals uptick expands further.

“Our FNM government has taken the necessary steps to put the country in a position to maintain the safe and responsible reopening that is taking place.”

It added: “The recent arrival of the vaccine and a significant increase in visitors are hopeful signs that positive momentum is building for our country.”

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