Total visitor arrivals soar past 4.7 million at the end of September

Total visitor arrivals soar past 4.7 million at the end of September
Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Total arrivals to The Bahamas reached more than 4.7 million for the nine months to September, according to recent data released by the Central Bank.

The regulator included the data in its Monthly Economic and Financial Development Report for the month of October.

“For the nine-months to September, total arrivals recovered to 4,758,124 vis-à-vis 954,859 in the comparative 2021 period, when a 45.6 percent decline was registered,” it stated.

“Air arrivals rose to 1,076,736 visitors, extending the 67.1 percent gain a year earlier, bolstered by growth in all major source markets. Likewise, sea arrivals increased to 3,681,388 passengers, a reversal from a 76.3 percent falloff in 2021.”

In the short-term vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA revealed ongoing gains during the month of October. Total room nights sold increased to 115,152 from 71,234 in the same period last year. 

“Reflecting this outturn, the occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings grew to 51.7 percent and 51.1 percent, respectively, compared to 44.7 percent and 42.4 percent in the prior year,” the regulator noted. 

According to the Central Bank, during the month of October, the domestic economy sustained its recovery trajectory from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tourism sector output remained buoyant, bolstered by healthy growth in the high value-added air segment and recovered sea traffic, given the relaxed pandemic restrictions and pent-up demand for travel in the key source market,” the Central Bank reported.

According to the report, total visitor arrivals by first port of entry rose to 465,341 in September, from 158,660 passengers during the same period in 2021.

“In particular, the dominant sea component grew to 397,303 compared to 115,312 visitors in the previous year. In addition, air traffic strengthened to 68,038 from 43,348 in the prior year—exceeding pre-pandemic levels; representing 125.8 percent of air arrivals recorded in 2019.”

The report continued: “Disaggregated by major port of entry, total arrivals to New Providence more than doubled to 198,806 in September, from 79,880 in the comparative 2021 period. Contributing to this outturn, air and sea traffic measured 57,037 and 141,769 visitors, respectively.

“Similarly, the Family Islands attracted 237,570 visitors, exceeding the 72,878 recorded in the previous year, attributed to gains in both the air and sea components, of 9,072 and 228,498, respectively,” it added.