The Central Bank of The Bahamas said yesterday that the economy stabilized during the second quarter of 2021.
In the just-released Quarterly Economic Review for the quarter ending June 2021, the bank said despite the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism output continued to gradually improve because of the strengthened high-value air segment.
“Data provided by the Ministry of Tourism revealed that total visitor arrivals strengthened to 297,759, following a 99.8 percent reduction to just 3,998 a year earlier, when international border closures were fully implemented,” the report noted.
“Specifically, the high-value-added air component amounted to 254,662 from only 1,736 passengers in the prior year— 58.5 percent of the 2019 second quarter level. Similarly, sea passengers recovered to 43,097 from 2,262 in the preceding year.”
While New Providence received the bulk of tourist arrivals, totaling 180,240 in Q2 up from 1,095 a year before, there was also strong growth of visitors to the Family Islands which totaled 176,378 from the 2,359 during the same period in 2020.
“Further, Grand Bahama attracted 14,215 tourists, vis-à-vis 544 visitors in the previous year, reflecting the uptick in both air (5,790) and sea (8,425) passengers,” the Central Bank said.
“Positive trends were also observed in the private vacation rental market, as demand picked up and local hotel resorts resumed operations with the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols. Data from AirDNA showed that during the second quarter, total room nights booked rebounded to 327,716, following a 65.1 percent reduction to 130,075 same period last year. Contributing to this outturn, hotel comparable bookings and entire place listings recorded notable gains in the review quarter, which increased more than three-fold.”
The Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) indicated total departures from Lynden Pindling International Airport – net of domestic passengers –amounted to 187,553, significantly more than the 1,689 recording in 2020.
“Specifically, US departures totaled 182,263, compared to a considerable decline to 1,145 in 2020, while non-US international departures rose to 5,290 from 544 in the corresponding period last year,” the Central Bank said.