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Bahamas bookings jump following DR deaths declines

A little more than a week after it was reported that The Bahamas saw an uptick in bookings to this destination due to the death of several American tourists in the Dominican Republic (DR), the trend seems to be reversing.

After the deaths received national attention in the U.S., a decline in bookings and a surge in cancellations to the DR were recorded, as bookings to The Bahamas, Jamaica and Aruba began to spike, according to a report from tourism analytics group ForwardKeys.

At least 12 American tourists have died in the Dominican Republic, causing the tourism industry on the island nation, a pillar of that country’s economy, to spiral into a crisis.

“From the 1st June to the 2nd July, bookings for July and August from the USA to the Dominican Republic fell by 84.4 percent compared to the equivalent period in 2018,” the report states.

“However, daily data reveals that bookings bottomed on June 19th, two days after the death of Vittorio Caruso, and they exceeded cancellations again on June 26th. In the two months prior to the deaths on 30th May of Nathaniel Holmes and Cynthia Day, bookings had been up 2.8 percent.”

According to ForwardKeys data, as bookings to the DR began to decline between June 1-16, bookings to The Bahamas grew by 35.4 percent. And as booking declines for the DR grew to 143 percent, The Bahamas increased by 45.3 percent, though being taken over by Jamaica, which saw an increase in bookings of 54.3 percent.

However, as of Tuesday, the DR has seen those booking declines shrink by about 50 percent, while the increase in related bookings to The Bahamas decreased by about 70 percent.

“…With the recovery in bookings for Dominican Republic, the surge of interest in those islands has slowed,” the report states.

ForwardKeys Vice President of Insights Olivier Ponti said the reports that came out of the DR were “bound to put some holidaymakers off”.

“I am greatly relieved for the Dominican Republic that the crisis in confidence appears to be abating and I am hopeful that it will be relatively short lived, particularly if there are no more deaths and if the current FBI investigation establishes a clear cause of death in each case and none of the causes was sinister,” Ponti said.

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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