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Bank liquidity, external reserves firm thanks to tourism sector

Thanks to the continued surge in tourist arrivals, the Central Bank of The Bahamas has indicated in its Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for February 2019 that bank liquidity and external reserves remain firm thanks to net foreign currency inflows.

The MEFD report explained that, for the month of February, total departures of visitors were up 26.4 percent.

Looking at the first two months of 2019, the MEFD report reveals that departures increased by 24.1 percent. In comparison, departures in the first two months of 2018 were up only 9.4 percent.

“Buoyed by the growth in air arrivals— the main source of stopover visitor traffic — tourism sector output continued to expand over the review period,” the MEFD report notes.

“Indicative of the ongoing economic improvement in the key source market, U.S. tourist traffic firmed comparatively by 30.0 percent in February and firmed by 27.1 percent for the year to date. Among non-U.S. departures, the review month gained by 10.6 percent, sustaining a 10.9 percent boost over the year to date.”

According to the MEFD report, the growth in arrivals led to an improvement in room revenue of about 48.0 percent in January. It also states that the number of room nights sold increased by 36 percent, while the daily room rate (ADR) improved by 9.4 percent to $265.39.

“Also of note, the hotel occupancy rate was approximately 16.9 percentage points higher than last year at 69.9,” the MEFD report states.

The Airbnb segment also saw gains, the report states, due to the expansion in air arrivals.

Data from the statistics website AirDNA reveals that the number of room nights booked by tourists in Airbnb properties increased by 20.6 percent.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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