NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Ministry of Tourism plans to ‘hone in on” and use competitive advantages to ‘maximum effect’ in its post-COVID-19 strategy, according to Director General of Tourism Joy Jibrilu.
Jibrilu said: “We are definitely looking at marketing strategies, most definitely. We are looking at how we did business. I don’t think there is anyone who will be doing business as normal when we come out the other side of this.
“If you take the European market, Europe has been hit very hard. It is unlikely they they will be looking at long distance vacations in the next twelve months and so we are not going to put as much focus as we would have in the past into Europe.”
She continued: “We know that north America continues to be our major source market. We do know that as a destination we have done well with very high net-worth individuals. We do know there will still be increased demand for that segment of travelers particularly if you look at the fact that they can come by private yacht or private aviation and we can accommodate those modes of travel.
“We know that with the multiplicity of islands we have to offer that people can go to go and enjoy the beaches and not have to worry about crowded beaches and can get away.”
Jibrilu told Eyewitness News this nation is in ‘unchartered territory.”
She said: “This is a global pandemic and is impacting the whole world. We are closed down and we don’t know how long we are closed down for.We can only reopen when we know it’s safe. If we open up too soon and this thing just goes on and just lingers, the long term effects will be even greater.”
Jibrilu noted that the cruise industry has taken a major hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, with many travelers perhaps even more wary now of cruises given the COVID-19 incidents onboard cruise ships and cruise liners being unable to have their passengers disembark. The major cruise lines are now not expected to resume operations until later in the summer.
Jibrilu said, “If they are waiting to get it right, we support that decision.”
“We want a quick return to business but we want that return to business to be right. It has to be safe for Bahamians and our visitors. Yes, we are going to feel it due to losses of our stopover visitors who attribute significant more.”