NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said today that despite the impact of the pandemic on global tourism and travel, this nation continues to see strong gains in the very high-end tourism segment.
Speaking with reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting, D’Aguilar said: “In the very high-end niche market, the private aviation and yacht business are doing very well. We have found that The Bahamas is becoming very attractive to high-end travelers.”
D’Aguilar noted that boaters traveling to and through The Bahamas are able to do so seamlessly when compared to the restrictions in other parts of the Caribbean.
The Ministry of Finance has announced that it has concluded an agreement with the OMNI Financial Group and the Association of Bahamas Marinas (OMNI/ABM) to launch a digital payment solution for the collection of charter fees from mega yachts and other charter operators in The Bahamas.
The new payment solution launched by the OMNI/ABM collaborative is called “SeaZPass” and is the first of several digital solutions the group will provide.
The Ministry of Finance estimated there is about $50 million in uncollected revenue from the boating segment.
Joe Dargavage, partner at the Romora Bay Resort and Marina and ABM vice president, told Eyewitness News: “The yacht charter industry in The Bahamas has grown five-fold in the last five years and we plan to see it grow another five-fold in the next five years.
“Boating and yachting will be the saving grace for tourism over the next year.”