Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Pictured: Minister of Tourism & Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar addresses the media. (BIS Photo/Kemuel Stubbs)
A revitalized tourism product coupled with expanded airlift from major US carriers such as Delta and American Airlines are helping to drive tourism growth in The Bahamas, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said at his recent Year-End Report.
Minister D’Aguilar also announced that air bookings for the next three months (November 2018 to January 2019), are ahead by 9.2 per cent with international markets showing an advance in bookings.
Scheduled direct flights are set to increase 15.1 per cent during the same timeframe.
Forward bookings are also ahead for November-January (7 per cent) with “the top source cities with the most favourable booking situation being Detroit (42.7 per cent), New York City (38.6 per cent), and Atlanta (22.2 per cent),” D’Aguilar added.
The Minister said while 2017 was “certainly a challenging year” with back-to-back hurricanes that hurt the Caribbean region, 2018 has been a banner year for tourism in The Bahamas.
“2018 has been a very good year for the Islands of The Bahamas for arrivals from all over the world,” he said. “Air arrivals to The Bahamas have continued [to] trend upwards since the last quarter of 2017 and have been consistently up by 15 per cent since May 2018.”
“Sea arrivals to The Bahamas have shown a 2 per cent increase for 2018. Stopover visitor arrivals to the destination between the months of January to October year to date 2018 are up from all of the major markets of The Bahamas: USA (up 7 per cent ), Canada (up 12 per cent), Europe (up 3 per cent), Caribbean (up 13 per cent), Latin America (up 4 per cent), and even the Rest of the World (up 3 per cent). Please note that Canada, with its 12 per cent increase, is by far our best performing market in 2018.”
Minister D’Aguilar said the US continues to be the leading source market by sheer volume with arrivals up by a “healthy” 7 per cent.
“This is due in part to new and expanded airlift from major U.S. carriers such as Delta and American Airlines, strengthening our connections to the key markets of New York, Miami, Charlotte, Atlanta and Chicago.”
Stopover visitors to The Bahamas between the months of January to October 2018 were up in the double digits from most of the US states.
Minister D’Aguilar said new and revitalized product is helping to drive tourism growth.
In October, Expedia reported greater than 30 per cent increase in room night sales; and hotel gross bookings also increased by greater than 25 per cent year-over-year from January through October.
The Bahamas also appeared as “a trending and growing destination” on key booking sites such as Kayak, Expedia and Airbnb.
“Arrivals to The Bahamas are stronger than ever,” Minister D’Aguilar said. “A wellspring of new, and recently opened hotels offer visitors even more ways to experience the authentic culture of the islands.”
“Atlantis Paradise Island, has debuted a fresh, new brand and renovations reconnecting with its Bahamian roots. Baha Mar is now fully open, with three distinct properties welcoming visitors, and business is strong.”
The Tourism and Aviation Minister said favourable outlook is supported by improved air connectivity from the United States for the next six months (Nov 2018 – Apr 2019), up by 15.3 per cent.