The Ministry of Tourism announces that preliminary tourism statistics show double digit increases in air arrivals and hotel performance for the month of January.
Nassau/Paradise Island welcomed 74, 361 stopover visitors during the month of January, a hike of 13% over arrivals in 2014. Hotel performance also showed significant improvements with a 7% increase in occupancy levels. The average daily hotel rate in January increased by 11% and total room revenues for large hotels reached a 13% increase of over January 2014 levels.
“This is shaping up to be one of our best January performances on record, exceeding 2012, which on many levels was seen as a comeback year for The Islands Of The Bahamas,” said Minister of Tourism, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe.
These early signs of growth in the tourism sector have been attributed to a number of factors. Officials cite positive outcomes from aggressive promotional initiatives and commitment from stakeholders and industry partners throughout 2014, a celebration year for tourism in The Bahamas. The tourism industry is expected to gain further momentum in 2015, as the Ministry of Tourism intensifies its promotional efforts, working in tandem with the travel trade to package and sell The Bahamas in a number of key markets.
The rebound in the US economy is yet another factor that has been harnessed effectively. Major developments throughout The Islands Of The Bahamas, including new international hotel brands, airport improvements and additional airlift from major gateways have helped to enhance the infrastructure, thereby giving the destination a competitive edge.
To further stimulate visitor arrivals and visitor spending, a number of marquee events have been added to the 2015 Entertainment Calendar. These include The Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, Junkanoo Summer and Heritage Festivals, IAAF World Relays, Marino and Friends Weekend and LPGA and PGA Tournaments, just to name a few.
“We have definitely started the year on strong footing and I want to thank and encourage our Tourism team, industry partners and stakeholders for their hard work. It is about working together to build stronger partnerships and we have an inclusive, comprehensive tourism strategy in place to grow inbound travel. It builds on our collective strengths, the beauty and multiplicity of our islands, our heritage, our culture and the diversity of the product. Our goal is to grow tourism spending to 2.8 billion this year as we work in partnership with global organizations and governments to secure an economic legacy for our Country. The timing could not be better for The Bahamas and together, we will continue to make major strides in tourism growth throughout 2015 and for many years to come,” said Minister Obie Wilchcombe.