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D’Aguilar: 14% increase in Canadian tourists

The Bahamas has seen a 14 percent year-on-year increase in visitors from Canada between 2017 and 2018, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said on Thursday at the Ministry of Tourism’s new brand campaign launch in Toronto.

D’Aguilar said it was important for his ministry to launch the new campaign featuring Bahamian singer Lenny Kravitz in Canada, given the fact that Canada is The Bahamas’ second largest source market for tourists.

D’Aguilar said about 126,000 people visit The Bahamas from Canada on average every year.

And while the number of visitors is important, said Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Joy Jibrilu, another important metric is the length of time Canadian visitors stay in The Bahamas.

“Sometimes we limit ourselves to just looking at numbers,” she said.

“What they don’t look at is that the average stay for an American tourist is four nights. An average stay for Canadian tourists is eight nights.

“More importantly, they prefer our Family Islands and so they keep the Eleutheras, the Exumas, the Cat Islands and Long Islands going because that’s where they go.”

Jibrilu added that many of the Canadian visitors opt to purchase second homes on some of those islands.

Paul Strachan, director of the tourism office in Canada, said the country has begun to see increased flights from Montreal and a non-stop flight from Canada.

Strachan said the Ministry of Tourism is also trying to develop the market in Vancouver and introduce direct flights from there to The Bahamas.

D’Aguilar said every now and then the Ministry of Tourism has to refresh and invigorate its ad campaign to “keep ourselves relevant and to keep ourselves front and center”.

“Seventy percent of our visitors book their holidays online, so while we create brand awareness, we must never forget how people purchase vacations,” he said.

“So we have to ensure we have a very vibrant online presence, so when people are searching for warm-weather destinations, The Bahamas becomes front and center.”

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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