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D’Aguilar: Continued growth in private aviation market projected

The Ministry of Tourism is eying a ten percent increase in private aviators flying to The Bahamas, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday, explaining that The Bahamas saw a more than 30 percent increase in private planes flying into this country last year.

According to D’Aguilar, in 2017 The Bahamas recorded 90,000 private aviators flying into The Bahamas, compared to last year’s increase to 120,000.

D’Aguilar, who was speaking to The Nassau Guardian while attending the second largest aviation fair in the U.S. in Lakeland, Florida, said private aviation is a growing niche market of this country’s tourism product.

He said many private aviators come to The Bahamas not only because of how close it is to the U.S., but also because of the variety of islands they have the freedom to visit.

“A lot of private aviators love to come to The Bahamas first of all because of the proximity to the United States, and second of all we have a lot of interesting and diverse destinations with all of our islands,” D’Aguilar said.

He added that the country has 20 ports of entry and 50 private and state-owned airstrips.

D’Aguilar said 200,000 people are expected to attend the airshow, while 400 to 500 personal aircraft are scheduled to fly into Lakeland for the show.

“For this week, Lakeland, Florida will have the busiest airport in the U.S.,” he said.

He added that when the show is done, 40 private planes will fly to Grand Bahama to experience the island.

The Ministry of Tourism is utilizing ambassadors who have flown to The Bahamas before, to lead other aviators who have not flown to this country

“Ambassadors are Americans who have flown to The Bahamas, who volunteer to see our product and inform other private aviators,” said D’Aguilar.

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