Categorized | National News

D’Aguilar Seeks to Improve Cruise Visitors’ Spending

In his remarks at the Abaco Business Outlook, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said The Bahamas has done an absolutely excellent job of attracting cruise ship visitors to our country, but a poor job of getting them to spend more money here.

He blames the entrepreneurial class for not “stepping up to the plate” to figure out how to capitalize on the millions of visitors coming to The Bahamas every day.

Mr. D’Aguilar focused his remarks primarily on cruise ship visitor attraction, describing the total amount of visitors via cruise ships and stop over visitors via air travel.

“Annually, six million visitors come to The Bahamas, more than any other Caribbean country with more visitors coming by cruise ships rather than air,” Mr. D’Aguilar stated at the Abaco Business Outlook last month.

Despite such enormous visitor number arrivals and being number one in the Caribbean, as far as the total amount of annual visitors are concerned, based on stop over figures, The Bahamas is still trailing fifth behind the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Jamaica, as it pertains to stop over visitors.

Although Abaco received praised from the minister on its booming economy, Mr. D’Aguilar felt that it was necessary to further his comments relating to tourism and cruise ship arrivals by highlighting the average amount of monies spent by tourists.

“The cruise ship visitor spends an average of $70, whereas the stop over visitor spends an average of $1,500,” he said.

“We’re aiming to induce our cruise ship guest to spend $20 more per person within our destination. This mere increase in cruise ship visitor spend will net $90 million in additional revenue.

“In tandem with increasing cruise visitor spend, we are actively working on converting as many cruise guests into return stop over guests as possible.”

Finding opportunities for growth, the minister of tourism further explained that The Bahamas tourism sector caters to millions and as such, there is an enormous room for growing the country’s agriculture, light manufacturing and high end quality craft sectors.

“Developing these sectors to meet the needs of the tourism industry will give rise to a new generation of entrepreneurs.” Mr. D’Aguilar imparted.

Summing up challenges any business face, Mr. D’Aguilar said, “Overcoming challenges and attaining success are all an integral part of running any business, be it tourism or captive insurance.

“Our country at large is engaged in running a business, the tourism business which is a feeder to most of the economic activity in our nation,” he said.

Cruise travel is a growing trend and Mr. D’Aguilar is hopeful that if The Bahamas is able to tilt the tourist arrival more in favour of stop over visitors, it would be considered a solid indicator of success in tourism.

The 14th Annual Abaco Business Outlook was held at the Abaco Beach Resort under the theme “Breaking Barriers, Promoting Success.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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