Mainly due to expanded airlift from Delta and American Airlines
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Tourism arrival numbers are up, according to Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Dionisio D’Aguilar.
D’Aguilar, while addressing the media on Friday at the Hilton Hotel, revealed that air arrivals to The Bahamas have been consistently up by 15 per cent since May of 2018, and sea arrivals have increased by two per cent.
The Tourism Minister said this success is due in part to new and expanded airlift from major United States carriers such as Delta and American Airlines, that have strengthened their connections throughout the U.S. and doubled their stop-over visitors.
“Stop-over visitor arrivals to the destination between the months of January to October 2018 are up from all of the major markets of The Bahamas,” D’Aguilar said.
“USA up seven per cent, Canada up 12 per cent, Europe up 3 per cent, Caribbean up 13 per cent, Latin America up four per cent and even the rest of the world up three per cent.”
D’Aguilar hinted that plans for the new year are going to elevate the industry even higher as bookings for the next three months are ahead by 9.2 per cent.
D’Aguilar said with this increase in arrivals, the contribution of hotels should not be downplayed.
In October, Expedia reported greater than 30 per cent increase in room night sales,” D’Aguilar said. “Hotel gross bookings also increased by greater than 25 per cent year-over-year, from January through October.
“New and revitalized products are helping to drive tourism growth. Atlantis, Paradise Island has debuted a fresh new brand and renovations [that] reconnect with its Bahamian roots.
“Baha Mar is now fully open with three distinct properties welcoming visitors and business is strong.”
The tourism minister said that he and other administrative members of the tourism sector are very proud of the results thus far, and that they look forward to building upon the success and tourism growth from 2018.
“As we forge ahead with exciting new programs, partnerships and initiatives planned for the year ahead, we are supporting and encouraging the development of new resorts through our islands that appeal to consumers of all ages with particular passions and lifestyles,” D’Aguilar said.
He also mentioned that the ministry is looking at capitalizing on each island and its uniqueness.
“In Nassau, revitalization of the historic architecture of Downtown, along with the new dining and entertainment options are continuing in this district,” D’Aguilar said.
Also, the tourism minister said development continues at the $120 million The Pointe mixed-use project next to the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, of which the Margaritaville brand will be developing the adjacent property.
As for Grand Bahama, D’Aguilar said the government and Ministry of Tourism are focusing new efforts on the rebranding and revitalization of that island’s tourism. The government, he said, recently purchased the Grand Lucayan Resort with the intention of securing its future return to the local economy.
Throughout the Family Islands, D’Aguilar said that the Ministry continues to see new boutique properties and eco-friendly resorts on Harbour Island, Eleuthera and Exuma, which provide visitors, particularly millennials, with options that match their lifestyles.
“And we eagerly await the development of a new five-star eco-resort planned for Long Island,” the tourism minister revealed.