There has been a 6.7 percent increase in Bahamian room bookings on travel website Expedia.com, according to the Ministry of Tourism.
“Expedia reported an increase across all major areas in The Bahamas comparing November 2017 to October 2018 bookings, to November 2018 to October 2019 bookings, including air tickets, room nights and passengers,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The islands had a 0.5 percent increase in air tickets, a 6.7 percent increase in room nights and a 3.7 percent increase in cruise passengers.”
The statement also noted that several hotels had reopened on Grand Bahama in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, which struck Grand Bahama and Abaco in early September.
“Old Bahama Bay Resort and Yacht Harbour, a resort that played a key role in Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, reopened in early November,” the ministry stated.
“Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach is scheduled to reopen December 10 and is offering 40 percent off as part of its grand reopening celebration.
“Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan, Taino Beach Resort and Clubs and more are also open and welcoming visitors this travel season.”
In October, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar projected that tourism numbers would be down nearly 10 percent following Dorian.
“There has been a lot of negative public relations about The Bahamas being destroyed and obviously people are concerned when booking their holidays that they’re going to come to a country that’s been destroyed and decimated,” D’Aguilar said at the time.
“And even though we’ve been trying to get the message out that that is not the case, and only two islands have been impacted, we have definitely seen a falloff in our bookings. If you look out through the end of the year, we are expecting just near a 10 percent decrease this year over last year.”
The Central Bank’s Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for September 2019 – released on November 4 – showed that Grand Bahama’s total arrivals decreased by 63.4 percent in September, after experiencing a gain of 13.3 percent during the same period last year.