NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The health protocols put in place for visitors to The Bahamas are being “well received”, according to a recent statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) that also claimed “there is optimism” the country will return to record-breaking tourist arrival numbers once safe travel resumes in earnest.
The statement noted that The Bahamas had “celebrated a record-breaking seven million visitors in 2019” and was projected to continue seeing record numbers before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Now, the Bahamian people have come together as a family of islands, united in strength and resilience to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that business can soon prosper again,” it stated.
“There is great optimism in that the islands will see a return to record-breaking visitor numbers, once it is safe for all to travel freely again. In the meantime, the government is doing all that is possible to get Bahamians back to work.”
Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar was quoted as saying the health protocols implemented allow visitors to “more freely enjoy our vacation experience” while preventing community spread of COVID-19.
MOTA’s statement added: “The latest protocols have been well received by consumers and tourism partners alike and coincide with news of hotel property reopenings and increased airlift resumption.
“Of note, three of the largest hotel properties in Nassau — Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Atlantis Paradise Island and British Colonial Hilton — are reopening mid-December, with additional hotel inventory coming back in January and February.
“Also starting mid-December, top US airline carriers including JetBlue, American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta are adding flights to their schedules.”
The statement further noted a number of “promotional tactics” being used to bolster the industry’s comeback, including: a targeted media plan, robust media outreach, numerous travel awards, a revamped Bahamas.com website, virtual sales and vertical market offerings, a new dive and boat ambassador program, an “authentic storytelling” program, a travel blogger program, local content photo and video shoots and the newly introduced Bahamas Extended Access Travel Stay (BEATS) program — a one-year residency permit for non-residents.
Ministry of Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu said the ministry will continue seeking opportunities to expand tourism into the new year.
“It is our duty at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation to promote tourism to our beautiful country, and while 2020 brought unprecedented roadblocks to that task, our optimism and dedication to that mission never wavered,” she said.
“As we look ahead to 2021, we will continue to find new and unique ways to promote our islands offerings through expanded programs and initiatives that will bring even more visitors back to our shores as quickly as possible.”