POISED FOR SUCCESS: Bahamas on course for ‘rapid rebound’ in tourist arrivals, says PM

POISED FOR SUCCESS: Bahamas on course for ‘rapid rebound’ in tourist arrivals, says PM
Passengers boarding Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas at Nassau Cruise Port on Saturday, June 12, 2021, are greeted by Junkanoo performers. (PHOTO: CAY FOCUS/NASSAU CRUISE PORT LTD)

Davis: The climate for investment and tourism continues to improve every day

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Bahamas is on course to experience a “rapid rebound” in tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic levels, according to Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis.

Davis, who was addressing the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar yesterday, said: “I am happy to report that The Bahamas is now on course to experience a rapid rebound in tourist arrivals to pre-pandemic levels, meaning that we should soon recover our position as a premier destination for business and leisure travelers.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis brings remarks during the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS). (TOURISM TODAY)

“The climate for investment and tourism continues to improve every day.”

Davis said his administration is also encouraging the investor community to pursue further developments and economic growth in the Family Islands, “with high-end boutique resorts, bed and breakfasts establishments, fishing lodges and exclusive villas that will cater to those visitors seeking a more ‘island’ way of life”.

“Our plan for each island will focus on the island’s niche in the tourism market and promote its unique opportunities,” the prime minister said.

“We will amend the Hotel Encouragement Act and, in the spirit of partnership, offer stronger incentives for international investors to partner with Bahamian-owned and joint-venture boutique hotels.

“In conjunction with the Residency by Investment programme, we are encouraging joint ventures with Bahamians on projects for sustained economic development.

“Through Bahamas Invest, we will create the framework to expedite projects under this initiative.”

Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).

Davis added: “To facilitate visitors’ arrival and departure in The Bahamas, we have also invested in our primary gateway, the Lynden Pindling International Airport, which has become the most modern in the Caribbean.

“We are now considering projects that will upgrade the airport infrastructure throughout our islands so as to enhance the visitor experience and encourage direct international airlift.”

Davis also noted that Nassau Cruise Port is currently under construction and scheduled for completion by Summer 2022.

Renovations underway at Nassau Cruise Port on June 23, 2021. (BIS PHOTO/PATRICK HANNA)

“The project is transforming Prince George Wharf into a modern, world-class destination and one of the great waterfronts of the world,” said Davis.

“Before COVID-19, the Port of Nassau attracted 3.7 million passengers per year. With the opening of the new cruise port, we expect to surpass those numbers.

“This past summer, several cruise lines led the return of cruising to The Bahamas by introducing homeporting from New Providence and Bimini. This has heralded the return of the many cruise lines which originate in the United States, including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Disney, MSC, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Virgin.

“This demonstrates not just confidence in the fact that the pandemic is increasingly under control, but the return of confidence in The Bahamas as a premier cruise destination.”