Stopover arrivals prove promising for 2019

From left: Joy Jibrilu, Director General of Tourism and Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On the heels of experiencing double-digit stopover visitor arrivals in 2018, Ministry of Tourism officials are confident that 2019 figures will prove just as successful.

While The Bahamas finished 2018 with stopover visitor arrivals at 18 per cent, Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation revealed that 2019 is shaping up to produce similar results.

“In 2018 things were phenomenal with double-digit growth with the number of stop-over visitors. This year we are up double digits in January, double digits for February and we expect that to continue throughout the first six months of the year,” he said.

“We are up 15 per cent in January and up another 12 per cent in February.

“We may be flat in March and then in April, we are showing another double-digit growth. So, for the first quarter of the year, I am very happy with what is projected based on what is booked.”

The Ministry of Tourism [MOT] expects to achieve its double-digit success through a newly released aggressive marketing campaign.

The new million-dollar marketing campaign ‘Fly Away,’ features Grammy Award-winning artist Lenny Kravitz.

Marketing spend has also been allocated for the production of vignettes which feature special aspects of each Family Island.

Joy Jibrilu, Director General of Tourism, revealed that the campaign has also produced separate feature vignettes which highlight Bahamians on various islands who provide historic stories about what makes their island so special.

Jibrilu said the aspect of storytelling dives deep into what truly attracts tourists to The Bahamas.

“They want to visit because of the deeper dive into the culture and they want to experience the stories that we are telling,” she said.

Jibrilu also revealed that, in addition to the new marketing campaign, MOT will also be branching into new markets to attract additional tourist numbers.

“We are certainly looking to branch into new markets. It’s well known that we just came from China and that was hugely successful,” she noted.

International marketing giant Tumi will launch The Bahamas new campaign this week in Asia, according to Jibrilu.

“We’re coming off an exceptional year and we have to keep that engine going,” the tourism minister said.

“The American economy is going very well and we felt that this was the right time to rebrand and relaunch The Bahamas.

“So, we have to keep this engine going and keep people wanting more and keep their interest peaked and we are on to a great start in 2019.”