Tourism sees 16.5% growth in stopover visitors

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – “Unprecedented” is how Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu described the country’s 16.5 per cent growth in stopover visitors this year.

In a recent interview with Eyewitness News, Jibrilu said The Bahamas is not only outperforming the Caribbean’s expectations, but also global expectations. However, she said the challenge is now what will be anticipated in  2019, coming off such strong growth.

“All our forward projections are indicating that this growth will continue, but I dare say it will not be in the double digits,” she said.

“But for the first three months, it will be a sustained growth. So this is really a special time for tourism is The Bahamas.”

Jibrilu said that growth is not only seen in Nassau and Paradise Island, but the family islands as well.

“Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Andros, the Berry Islands,  growth has been phenomenal, so we are thankful this piece of the pie has been shared across our archipelago,” Jibrilu said.

And while most attribute the growth in stopover visitors to the opening of Baha Mar, the director general said there are many more factors.

“We cannot discount the fact that last year, the hurricane season devastated some of the islands to the south of us,” she said.

“And, of course, those persons were looking for elsewhere to go but it should be noted that most of those islands are up and running and all the other islands in the region that were not impacted continued to operate with business and usual.

“Also, increased airlift, we cannot discount the fact that the Ministry of Tourism has been working to ensure that there is airlift into the key areas in Nassau and the family Islands.

Jibriulu said The Bahamas tourism marketing department has ramped up their efforts and new campaigns are being rolled out in the new year.