Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Reports Increase in 2012 Arrivals
By Brian Major
October 08, 2012 10:08 PM
The Bahamas is on pace to finish with as many as 5.7 million tourist arrivals in 2012, a 6 to 7 percent increase over 2011 totals, according to statistics from a tourism ministry official quoted in local press reports.
Gary Young, senior director of research and statistics at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, told the Bahamas Tribune242 website that visitor arrivals for September and October, normally the slowest period for the Bahamas, were “a little ahead” of expectations, leading to a forecast of up to 5.7 million arrivals for the year. “We’ll be over 5 million visitors, no problem,” Young said. “We’ll be probably somewhere around 5.6 million to 5.7 million at least, possibly higher. It depends on what happens with the cruise side.”
For the period from January to July of 2012, Bahamas tourist arrival totals totaled 3.67 million, an 8.1 percent increase over the 3.394 million arrivals recorded for the same period in 2011, according to Ministry of Tourism data. For the period, overnight land-based visitors totaled 895,187, up 8 percent from the 824,144 visitors last year, while cruise-ship passengers totaled 2.775 million, an 8 percent rise over the 2.57 million cruise arrivals recorded in the first seven months in 2011.
Despite the growing arrival numbers, the article cites Bahamas Hotel Association (BHA) sources who “continually pointed out that the Nassau/Paradise Island resort sector’s room rates and yields remain depressed,” saying hotel rates have yet to return to pre-recession levels.