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HomeInsightsTourism arrivals outperform expectations through November

Tourism arrivals outperform expectations through November

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas continues its meteoric rise in tourism as air and sea arrivals reach unprecedented heights, marking sustained growth that has surpassed previous years’ benchmarks.

As of the end of November 2023, the cumulative count of foreign air and sea arrivals soared to a staggering 8,645,374, showcasing an astounding 41.8 percent surge compared to the corresponding period in 2022. This substantial increase reflects The Bahamas’ unwavering allure and growing popularity among global travellers.

Chester Cooper, deputy prime minister and minister of tourism, investments and aviation, lauded these remarkable achievements, highlighting the continued upward trajectory of visitor numbers.

“Notably, air arrivals through November 2023, totalling 1,555,636, have eclipsed both 2022 and 2019 levels, boasting an impressive 18.6 percent upsurge over the same period in 2022,” expressed Cooper.

Furthermore, sea arrivals for the year-to-date through November 2023 amounted to 6,938,193, unveiling a remarkable 49.1 percent escalation from 2022 and an impressive 42.4 percent rise compared to 2019.

“This surge in sea arrivals underscores the consistent appeal and magnetism of our breathtaking islands among travellers worldwide,” Cooper said.

It is noteworthy that all islands, including Nassau/Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and The Family Islands, have experienced record-breaking overall foreign air and sea arrivals during the first eleven months in 2023, with Bimini leading Family Island overall growth with 110 percent compared to 2022, and 925 percent compared to 2019.

Comparative foreign air arrivals only figures show Grand Bahama Island leading overall year-over-year growth by exceeding 2022 numbers by 38 percent, followed by Abaco, Nassau/Paradise Island, Bimini, Andros, Cat Island, Exuma, Eleuthera and Long Island, respectively.

Post-Dorian recovery shows Grand Bahama’s overall visitor arrivals exceeding 2019 numbers by 3 percent and 2022 by 53 percent, while Abaco’s overall recovery reflects 6 percent above 2019 and 27 percent beyond 2022 numbers.

Highlighting the hotel industry’s flourishing performance, major New Providence/Paradise Island hotels witnessed a notable surge in November 2023, with foreign air arrivals exceeding the once-historic 2019 numbers by 17 percent that month.

These hotels recorded a substantial 70.6 percent occupancy rate, surpassing the 68.8 percent rate observed in November 2022.

Average Daily Room Rates surged by 16.7 percent, while revenue per available room soared by 20 percent, propelling overall room revenue to a commendable 16.8 percent increase during the month.

Cooper reflected on the visitor demographics, noting, “Up to the end of November 2023, 35.8 percent of visitors from all regions embraced the charm of our islands once more, embodying the spirit of return. Key source markets such as Africa, Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, Australasia, Europe, and Latin America displayed strong repeat visitor rates, symbolizing the enduring allure of The Bahamas.”

During this period, the statistics indicated that 62.5 percent of stopover visitors chose The Bahamas primarily for leisure, followed by 16.9 percent for weddings and honeymoons, 5.7 percent seeking the thrill of our casinos, and 3.5 percent for business purposes.

“Such a diverse mix of interests and motivations underscores the multifaceted appeal of our islands, catering to varied preferences and interests,” Cooper added.

“The Bahamas stands at the pinnacle of its tourism prowess, fueled by an unwavering commitment to excellence, a diverse array of offerings and a genuine hospitality that beckons travellers from every corner of the globe. As we close out 2023, we should note that December has yet to be counted, and we expect to easily exceed the 9 million visitor arrival mark. These remarkable statistics serve as a testament to our unwavering dedication to providing unparalleled experiences, ensuring that The Bahamas remains a premier destination for discerning travellers worldwide.”

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