Fourth of July weekend will be busy for some marinas

This Fourth of July weekend will be busy for some marinas throughout the country, according to the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), which said that marinas on Grand Bahama have reported strong bookings for the United States holiday, while other marinas throughout the country report being “booked to capacity”.

BHTA also told Guardian Business that it has received reports that guests hoping to come into the country are finding it difficult to locate the requisite molecular swab (PCR) test they must present in order to enter. This required testing was imposed by the government due to the growing numbers of positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United States.

Marinas opened up to the boating public on June 15, while the country opened its borders to tourists on Wednesday.

“In Grand Bahama, marinas are reporting a steady flow of business, with a noted uptick for the July 4th weekend. The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board has commended its customs and immigration officers as being ‘outstanding with the service provided’,” BHTA stated.

“There has been feedback regarding the difficulty with attaining the PCR test in areas of the United States.

“Family island marina occupancy levels have been reported as ‘good’, with some marinas reporting being booked to capacity and/or beyond.”

BHTA noted that hotels across the country have reported occupancy figures that vary greatly for the month of July. 

Both of the country’s largest resorts remain closed this month.

“At this time, hotel occupancy figures for the first part of July vary considerably throughout the archipelago,” BHTA said.

“Small, medium and larger hotels that plan to reopen in July 2020 are reporting everything from low to robust bookings.

“Family island properties, particularly those that are readily accessible by air or sea and have an onsite marina, have reported sturdy to strong occupancy figures; while other properties report tepid or fluctuating figures post-opening.

“Paradise Island hotels offer varying reports. While some tourism stakeholders are stating business is slow, some state they hope to build bookings and focus on guest care and ensuring health and safety protocols can and will accommodate the anticipated ramp up of business.”

Baha Mar revealed that it will remain closed until October, while Atlantis reported this week that due to the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., it will remain closed for the month of July. 

Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said Atlantis has reported strong interest for August. 

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