In an unprecedented tourism boom, The Bahamas has welcomed over 7.2 million visitors in the first three quarters of 2023, matching the total number of arrivals recorded in the entirety of 2019.
The Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation anticipates surpassing 8 million visitors by the year’s end, marking a historic achievement for the island nation.
From January through September, the country witnessed 7,209,165 arrivals by both air and sea. This includes 1,332,752 air arrivals and a staggering 5,876,413 sea arrivals, showcasing a 33 percent increase from the same period in 2019.
Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, expressed his satisfaction with these numbers, highlighting the monumental post-pandemic recovery.
Cruise arrivals saw a substantial 61 percent increase from 2022 and were 45 percent higher than in 2019. Foreign air arrivals, including stopovers and day visitors, also experienced a 21 percent surge from 2022.
The hotel industry is thriving with increased occupancy rates, average daily room rates, and room revenue all surpassing 2019 figures. The overall spend of visitors onshore continues to rise, benefiting the local economy.
DPM Cooper credited the success to strategic planning and the unwavering confidence of hotel and cruise operators in The Bahamas brand. He emphasized the importance of attractive cruise destinations like the new Port of Nassau and noted the remarkable growth in cruise arrivals and onshore spending in various islands.
With room rates nearly 60 percent higher than in 2019, yet achieving higher occupancy rates, The Bahamas is experiencing extraordinary demand. The country is witnessing not only a strong retention of repeat visitors but also a significant influx of first-time visitors.
Looking forward, Cooper highlighted ongoing projects and airport infrastructure redevelopment across the islands, expressing confidence in the continued growth of tourism arrivals. “This is the strongest tourism has ever been, and we only expect our performance to get stronger,” he concluded, underscoring the bright future ahead for tourism in The Bahamas.