Tourism ‘ground to a halt’ in the second quarter, notes report

During the second quarter of 2020 the number of visitors to The Bahamas was just shy of 4,000 people, compared to 1.9 million visitors in the same quarter last year, according to data in The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Quarterly Economic Review (QER) for the second quarter of 2020.

The QER described the country’s tourism situation as having “ground to a halt” in the second quarter due to the travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Preliminary data from the Ministry of Tourism revealed that overall tourist arrivals totaled just 3,998 during the second quarter, following a 16 percent growth to 1.89 million in 2019, as the borders partially reopened in June to international travelers by private aircrafts and seacrafts,” the QER states.

“Underlying this outturn, sea passengers amounted to just 2,262, vis-à-vis a 16.6 percent increase to 1.39 million last year. Similarly, air traffic contracted to 1,736, relative to a 14.5 percent expansion to 0.5 million a year earlier.”

The CBOB’s report adds that New Providence saw only 1,095 visitors compared to 1.06 million last year, “with sea and air passengers amounting to 581 and 514, respectively”.

The report notes that the Family Islands welcomed 2,359 visitors (sea traffic,1,211 and air traffic, 1,148) versus 0.66 million in 2019.

It states that visitors to Grand Bahama decreased to 544 people versus 0.17 million in the same period last year. That island saw 470 sea passengers and just 74 air passengers.

In the vacation home rental market, according to the QER report, short-term rental data and analytics company AirDNA revealed a falloff in the demand for resort business, with total room nights booked down 65.1 year-on-year. 

“An analysis by listing category revealed that entire place listings registered a 1.2 percentage point reduction in average occupancy levels to 39.6 percent, but the average daily rate (ADR) rose by 3.2 percent to $420.42.,” the report states.

“Further, the average occupancy rate for hotel comparable listings fell by 1.4 percentage points to 43.7 percent, while the average daily rate edged up by 0.5 percent to $155.44.”

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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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