Bahamas Posts Strong January Hotel And Arrivals Numbers
Photo: Bahamas hotels posted a seven percent occupancy rate increase in January. Shown is the Breezes Bahamas resort. (Photo by Brian Major)
Its newest mega-resort may be off to a slow start, but tourism to the Bahamas’ historic capital of Nassau and its Paradise Island resort district began the year strongly, according to Ministry of Tourism data. Nassau/Paradise Island recorded 74,361 overnight visitors in January, a 13 percent increase over January 2014 according to ministry officials.
Although this week saw another delay at the country’s most-anticipated hospitality development, the $3.5 billon Baha Mar mega-resort, the country’s tourist arrivals are clearly on the upswing.
In addition to the increased arrivals, Nassau/Paradise Island hotels also fared well in January, posting a 7 percent occupancy increase, along with an 11 percent increase in average daily rate (ADR) during the month. “Large” hotels tracked by the Ministry posted a 13 percent increase in total room revenues.
“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 Obie Wilchcombe, the Bahamas’ tourism minister.
In a statement, ministry officials cited “positive outcomes from aggressive promotional initiatives and commitment from stakeholders and industry partners throughout 2014,” for the improved 2014 results. They also cited “the rebound in the U.S. economy” and major tourism infrastructure developments including “new international hotel brands, airport improvements and additional airlift from major gateways.”
“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,” said Wilchcombe. “The timing could not be better for the Bahamas.”
Meanwhile, the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board (NPIPB) recently reported a 12 percent increase in Internet search demand for Nassau/Paradise Island, according to NPIPB officials cited in a Bahamas Tribune report.
Nassau/Paradise Island “remains the most-desired vacation destination in the region, with 52 percent of survey respondents likely to visit within the next two years,” according to the NPIPB report.
Robert Sands, Baha Mar’s senior vice president of government and external affairs told the Tribune the results are “indicative of the extra 350,000-400,000 visitors” Baha Mar is seeking to attract annually.
“These numbers bear good news for tourism in the Bahamas,” he said. “It augurs well for our future launching that there is keen interest in the opening and coming online of Baha Mar.”
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