Sept. air arrivals 125% stronger than pre-pandemic numbers

Air arrivals for The Bahamas in September saw a 125.8 percent increase over the record year of 2019, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ latest Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for October.

The report noted that in the months of 2022 into September, total visitor arrivals were at 4,758,124, compared to 954,859 during the same period last year.

The report said the tourism sector continues to strengthen month by month “reflective of relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and pent-up demand for travel in the key source market”.

“The latest official data provided by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) showed that total visitor arrivals by first port of entry rose to 465,341 in September, from 158,660 passengers during the same period in 2021,” the report said.

“In particular, the dominant sea component grew to 397,303 compared to 115,312 visitors in the previous year. In addition, air traffic strengthened to 68,038 from 43,348 in the prior year, exceeding pre-pandemic levels; representing 125.8 percent of air arrivals recorded in 2019.

“Disaggregated by major port of entry, total arrivals to New Providence more than doubled to 198,806 in September, from 79,880 in the comparative 2021 period.

“Contributing to this outturn, air and sea traffic measured 57,037 and 141,769 visitors, respectively.”

The report added that the Family Islands attracted 237,570 visitors, topping last year’s number of 72,878.

According to the MEFD report, Grand Bahama arrivals totaled 28,965, a significant jump compared to just 5,902 in 2021, when COVID-19 was still a concern.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Chester Cooper said last Friday that visitor numbers for the next three months are expected to be 16 percent ahead of 2019 numbers. 

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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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