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‘Bullish’ tourism revenues for first six months of 2018

$165 million estimated take so far; average stopover visitor spends ‘north of $1,500’
Stopover visitor arrivals to The Bahamas were up 15.2 percent for the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period last year. FILE

Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said tourism revenues for the first six months of 2018 are very “bullish” with a $165 million estimated take from an exceptional year for tourism thus far.

D’Aguilar said in a press release revealing the numbers that it is expected that the year will finish strong.

According to the release, stopover visitor arrivals to The Bahamas were up 15.2 percent for the first six months of 2018, compared to the same period last year. That percentage increase translates to an additional 110,000 visitors to the country during that time frame.

“Tourism officials estimate that an average stopover visitor to The Bahamas spends ‘north of 1,500 bucks’,” the release states.

According to D’Aguilar, the double-digit increase in stopover visitors has been a result of an uptick in arrivals from the United States of 8.4 percent and from Canada by more than 30 percent.

This comes as The Bahamas readies itself to host the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) October 1-5 at Atlantis, Paradise Island where tourism ministers, tourism industry officials and tourism industry stakeholders from across the Caribbean will come together to discuss the region’s most important economic driver.

“The exciting thing about SOTIC is that it keeps evolving,” said D’Aguilar.

“This year, for example, as we consider the striking realities facing the sector – not the least of which are extreme climate phenomena, political and economic realisms at home and abroad, and the even more rapid rise in technological developments – we are rethinking travel and tourism in the Caribbean. We will explore concepts and models to expand beyond traditional tourism boundaries into entirely new frontiers.

“SOTIC is a worthwhile, important and invaluable investment for The Bahamas. The media coverage will be priceless, the lessons we learn will be priceless; the business it brings, will be welcomed.”

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