Categorized | National News

Tourism Numbers Projected To Soar Past 2019

Hon. Chester Cooper

Licec Bastian
Journal Staff Writer

The Bahamas’ tourism product is seeing phenomenal growth and tourist arrival
numbers are anticipated to soar past record-breaking 2019 number of arrivals. The
numbers are trending 30 percent ahead in 2023.
Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper, who also holds responsibility for the minister
of tourism, investments and aviation, told an audience at the launch event of the
Caribbean Investment Forum (CIF) that the country’s tourism sector “continues to
perform in a stellar manner, post-pandemic.”
“When we look at our arrival numbers, air and sea combined, we have for the first six
months of this year, welcomed more than 5 million visitors,” the DPM said.
“Conservative projections put our visitor arrivals well over eight million by the end of
the year.”
Back in June, during debate on the National Budget, DPM Cooper noted that at the
end of April visitor arrival numbers were up 79 percent for the first four months of
In 2019 tourist numbers for the same period stood at 2.7 million, in 2022 there were
1.9 million visitors between January and April. For this year that number stood at 3.5
“It’s good now and it’s getting better. We are seeing a 30 percent arrivals number
ahead of where we were in 2019, [and] in 2019 I remind you was a record setting
“So, barring an act of God, we’re going to break the eight million visitor arrival mark,
and we anticipate, based on the strategies that we are putting in place by the Ministry
of Tourism right now, that we are going to exceed the eight million tourist arrival
mark which would be the best year, ever in the history of The Bahamas,” the DPM
told reporters on the sidelines of the event.
The tourism sector, according to the DPM Cooper, is seeing phenomenal growth
supported by aviation. The increase in numbers, particularly by air, may be attributed
to increased airlift.

“We talked about the JetBlue direct from LA. We’ve talked about the direct flights
from Seattle [Washington] and LA on Alaska Airlines.
“American Airlines announced recently some phenomenal changes, additional flights,
daily service from Dallas; daily service from Charlotte [North Carolina] to many of
the Family Islands, including Abaco, Exuma [and] Eleuthera,” DPM Cooper said.
“[Monday] we are seeing announcements from Delta with direct service from Florida
to Nassau; daily direct nonstop service from Atlanta to Nassau; this is phenomenal.
“I invite the stakeholders to brace themselves.”
Deputy Prime Minister Cooper added that there is also a significant level of interests
in the country’s second city Grand Bahama, and noted that significant airlift is also
being directed to Grand Bahama from American Airlines, Delta and Frontier.
Back in June, President of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA)
Robert “Sandy” Sands told another local daily that the tourism industry “will be able
to surpass pre-COVID performance in “a shorter period of time” if it can increase its
capacity to accommodate more visitors given ongoing pent-up demand for the
The tourism minister said hopefully, over the course of the next 12 months, he will
see more tangible movements with increasing room capacity.
“We are seeing new developments across the Islands of The Bahamas. We are
anticipating by late November, early December that the British Colonial is going to be
open,” the DPM added.
“You see some demolition work happening [on] the Cable Beach strip. Over the
course of the next 12 months, I hope that we’ll see some more tangible movement in
that direction. We have Montage coming in, in Abaco.
“We have Sampson Cay. We have Cave Cay. We have Elizabeth Island. We have
Torch Cay, in the Exuma. The future is looking bright.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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