Ministry hopes to solve poor arrival numbers in some southern islands
Although tourist arrivals broke records in 2018, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that poor visitor arrival numbers on some southern islands is a challenge the ministry hopes to solve.
“I think it’s a function of lift,” D’Aguilar said during a press conference at the Ministry of Tourism.
“How do we get people into those destinations?
“We’re trying to crack that, trying to get additional air capacity into those islands.
“They have very small inventories and so certainly with our 16-island marketing campaign, it’s trying to build a case to go to other islands within The Bahamas.
“It’s not just Nassau and Paradise Island and also Grand Bahama.”
According to the numbers, Cat Island, Long Island and Inagua each saw fewer than 2,000 foreign air and sea arrivals in 2018.
Cat Island had 1,084 foreign air and sea arrivals. Long Island had 1,545 and Inagua had 1,341.
Data was not available for Crooked Island, Acklins, Mayaguana, Ragged Island and Rum Cay.
D’Aguilar said, “We are really trying to push that if you want a Caribbean holiday, The Bahamas has it all. Whatever island you want to go to, we have whatever you’re looking for in a Caribbean holiday. But it’s a challenge.
“You know, there’s sort of an imaginary line at George Town, Exuma, and then sort of everything to the south is not feeling this bump, and that’s our challenge, to try and direct passengers that way.”
Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu noted that the numbers for the Family Islands did not take into account the visitors who stop over in Nassau before arriving at Family Island destinations.
Those visitors were included in the numbers for New Providence.
All other islands listed in the 2018 statistics had visitor arrival numbers greater than 11,000.
Andros had a total of 11,583 foreign air and sea arrivals. San Salvador had 17,337.
Exuma saw 62,885 air and sea arrivals and Eleuthera saw 414,029.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish