Tourism indicators continued to show an upward trend in November, as the number of passenger departures from the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA), as reported by the Nassau Airport Development Company Ltd. (NAD), increased by 15.7 percent year-on-year, ushering in the close of a boon year for this country’s tourism sector, The Central bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for November reveals.
The completion of Baha Mar and improvements in the economy of the United States are largely credited with the tourism boom of 2018.
“The latest tourism indicators show that the sector sustained its upward trajectory, underpinned by improved economic fundamentals in the main source markets, along with a significant increase in high-end room capacity in the capital,” the MEFD report states.
“Specifically, the latest official data from the Ministry of Tourism for the month of September revealed that total visitor arrivals improved by 62.4 percent, relative to a 34.9 percent reduction in the prior year, when the passage of Hurricane Irma through the region significantly disrupted travel itineraries.
“Similar, although more muted, trends were noted over the nine-month period, as the total number of visitors rose by 8.5 percent, a reversal from a 5.3 percent decline a year earlier. This outcome was underpinned by growth of 16.5 percent and 6.1 percent in the air and sea components, respectively, vis-a-vis contractions of 8.4 percent and 4.3 percent, during the same period in 2017.”
The CBOB’s MEFD report also notes that passenger departures for November 2017 showed a 4.9 percent increase over 2016. According to the report, non-U.S. international traffic increased by 11.6 percentage points to 16.8 percent, and U.S. traffic quickened by 10.6 percentage points to 15.5 percent.
The Family Islands saw a strong increase in total arrivals. According to the MEFD report, arrivals on islands other than Grand Bahama and New Providence increased by 25.4 percent, reversing a 5.8 percent decline last year.
Grand Bahama, which had been floundering in the tourism sector for years, firmed by 8.9 percent in comparison to a 32 percent contraction in 2017.