The Ministry of Tourism’s latest statistics reveal that for January 2019 stopover visitors to The Bahamas increased by 28.8 percent compared to 2018. The numbers to New Providence alone increased by 33 percent, Dionisio D’Aguilar told Guardian Business yesterday.
D’Aguilar said both the cruise and stopover segments of the tourism industry increased by 19.3 percent year-over-year.
According to D’Aguilar, these latest statistics mean The Bahamas welcomed 29,000 more visitors in January 2019 than in January 2018.
This month, New Providence will miss the potential for 5,000 passengers after Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was forced to stay in dry dock longer than expected after a crane accident damaged the ship.
D’Aguilar said the vessel was scheduled to call on the Port of Nassau today, but remains in dry dock in Grand Bahama undergoing repairs. He said the Oasis is scheduled to be out of commission for three weeks.
On the Family Islands, Grand Bahama saw a 14.6 percent increase in stopover arrivals; Abaco a 19.4 percent increase; Eleuthera a 37 percent increase; and Exuma an increase of 27 percent.
According to D’Aguilar, in January hotels saw a 32 percent increase in their occupancy rates, and their average daily room rate was up by nine percent.
The Bahamas experienced record-breaking visitor numbers in 2018, D’Aguilar revealed last month.
The data presented showed that 6.6 million tourists visited the country last year, an increase of 7.9 percent compared to the 2017 numbers.
According to the numbers, 6.1 million tourists visited The Bahamas in 2017.
Previously, 2014 was the year with the highest number of visitors, when 6.3 million tourists entered the country.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism