Baha Mar bookings slowing down in wake of COVID-19 threat

Baha Mar’s bookings have begun to slow in the wake of the growing, global coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, Baha Mar’s Senior Vice President of Government and External affairs Robert “Sandy” Sands revealed yesterday, adding though that Easter and spring break bookings remain strong.

Sands, who spoke to Guardian Business following a tour of the New Providence Ecology Park, said “anxiety” in the travel marketplace has led to the decline in bookings.

“I can confirm to you that spring break and Easter remain strong, which is a positive for us, but it is fair to say that with the anxiety in the marketplace, there is a slowdown in the booking pace that is taking place at this time,” said Sands.

“But business remains very strong and robust for Easter and spring break.”

Sand explained that many of the queries that have come in to the resort have been about Baha Mar’s protocols surrounding the mitigation of any possible spread of COVID-19.

He said the industry has had many meetings with the Ministry of Health and is following stringent hygiene practices.

“Basically the hotel industry has had a number of meetings with the Ministry of Health at the highest level and also we have been exercising the protocols in terms of proper hygiene, which everyone has been following,” said Sands.

“Also we are just being accessible to our guests to be able to answer these questions going forward.

“There are visible signs of some of these initiatives in place, visible hand sanitizers throughout lobbies, etc. and obviously, certainly, we are being proactive in terms of addressing guest concerns on this matter.”

Guardian Business reported last week that Baha Mar was being looked at as an alternative location to places in the United States by meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) planners, given that COVID-19 has not yet been detected in The Bahamas.

However, Sands said those queries have yet to turn into bookings.

“We’ve had a number of inquiries as to our protocols and certainly in the days to come they [MICE planners] will be making certain decisions,” he said.

“But the overwhelming question to us is what protocols we have in place to deal with this matter and obviously they’re going to be governed by their corporate policies as to how they move on these current bookings, or whether they reschedule for a later period.”

While some businesses across The Bahamas have already restricted non-essential corporate travel, Sands said Baha Mar has not yet deemed it part of its corporate policy.

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Chester Robards

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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