While the COVID-19 pandemic has, for the most part, devastated the tourism industry, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said yesterday that the luxury tourism industry in The Bahamas has been doing well despite the situation at hand.
D’Aguilar said some high-end hotels said that business was better at the end of 2020 than the same period in 2019.
“In the very high-end niche market, the private aviation, the yacht business, they are doing exceptionally well,” D’Aguilar told reporters outside Cabinet.
“Wealthy persons who are looking to travel have rediscovered The Bahamas because we have so much to offer.
“We have all our different islands.
“And so, for them to come in their yacht and move seamlessly through our country without any impediments as compared to the southern Caribbean – when you go to St. Barths and Anguilla and St. Martin, you’ve got all these different entry protocols – we have found that The Bahamas is becoming very attractive to the yachts and to the high-end travelers.
“…I spoke to a hotelier in Harbour Island, North Eleuthera, he said, ‘Whatever you all are doing, it’s working. We are doing very well.’”
“And certainly, the private aviation and high-end hotels here in Nassau, they said that the Christmas 2020 was better than the Christmas in 2019, certainly from a hotel standpoint. So, people are looking in that high-end niche market to come to The Bahamas.”
The tourism industry came to a standstill at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
The Bahamas, which had reported more than seven million visitors in 2019, saw sparse visitor arrivals last year.
D’Aguilar said yesterday, that while things remain slow, he believes that as more people are vaccinated, both in The Bahamas and worldwide, things will begin to pick up throughout this year.
“So, obviously, as we progress through the year, I am of the view that as more people get the vaccine and become emboldened to travel, more people will travel,” he said.
“And during the course of this year, things will begin to get better, culminating at the end of the year, where I think we should have a fairly robust Christmas, at least compared to the Christmas in 2020.”