Visitor arrivals up 10%

Director of Tourism Joy Jibrilu.

Latin America a growing contributor

The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) has seen a 10 per cent increase in visitor numbers from October through March this year compared to the same period in 2017, according to Director of Tourism Joy Jibrilu.

In an interview with Eyewitness News Online Monday, Jibrilu said, as the ministry continues to strategically market The Bahamas globally, with Latin America demonstrating a vested interest in the islands of The Bahamas.

“It’s a big strategic goal of ours,” Jibrilu said.

“They are the right type of visitors we are looking for in the sense. When they come, they come as a family and they stay for a minimum for a week. Beyond that, they come as an extended family, so inevitably they come as a large group, bringing their entire family including their grandparents.

“The Bahamas is its desired destination, so opportunities exist for them,” she said.

Moreover, Jibrilu said, the ministry has seen growth in Canada and Europe markets as a result of current strategic marketing strategies.

She also indicated that MOT’s market is now seeing “dividends” from its successive marketing campaigns.

In 2011, the ministry partnered with Copa Airlines to begin attracting more Latin American visitors.

MOT’s General Manager of Multi Destinations Giovanni Grant explained that Latin America is a huge market that The Bahamas must continue tapping into.

“Copa Airlines has four flights per week: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Panama City, non-stop to Nassau. What that does is connect all of Latin America, which is their hub and they fly to Nassau,” he said.

“The population of Brazil and Mexico exceeds the population of the United States so this is a huge market that we have had a relationship with and Copa Airlines is that partner to do it.”