Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Country records highest visitor arrival in history

Published:Monday | January 27, 2020 | 12:05 AM

NASSAU (CMC):

The Bahamas welcomed more than seven million visitors last year despite the setback caused by the passage of Hurricane Dorian when it swept through the archipelago, killing at least 70 people and causing damage in excess of US$3.4 billion.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that I report The Bahamas’ strongest tourism numbers in history,” said Tourism and Aviation Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar.

“We look forward to building upon the success of our marketing efforts and continuing the momentum in 2020 as we show the world that The Bahamas continues to be open for business and has so much to offer visitors,” he added.

Director general in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Joy Jibrilu, said “this tremendous achievement would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the team behind the scenes at the Ministry of Tourism as well as our industry and agency partners”.

According to the authorities, the impact of Hurricane Dorian has not slowed the country’s tourism growth, noting that since 2009, the islands have continuously seen a steady increase in air and sea arrivals with an impressive 52 per cent increase in the last decade.

According to the Department of Immigration, Port Authority and Customs, by the end of 2019, foreign air and sea arrivals had totalled more than 7.2 million, a nine per cent increase from 2018. Stopover visitors alone were the highest in recorded history at 1.78 million with American visitors accounting for 1.45 million.

The authorities said the country expects to see this trend of increasing arrivals by air continues as major airlines, including United Airlines, British Airways and Delta Airlines have increased their airlift to Nassau in 2020.