While he could have been referring to the weather, Bahamas tourism minister Dionisio D’Aguilar made it clear that when he said the destination is “hot” during an industry luncheon yesterday in Toronto he was talking about tourism.
Following a slow start to 2017, tourism to The Bahamas has taken off with the end of the year ending on a high note and early numbers and projections for 2018 taking off.
“2018 is trending upwards, and we’re extremely optimistic for a robust year,” said D’Aguilar. “In short, The Bahamas is hot right now.”
Early numbers from Canada show monthly year-over-year increases of more than 20% from Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.
Helping boost the numbers is plenty of news on the accommodation front with openings, renovations and rebranding coming from the likes of Baha Mar, Atlantis, which has incorporated authentic Bahamian elements to its property, Riu Palace Paradise Island, now an adults-only, all-inclusive property, and The Ocean Club.
Joy Jibrilu, director general, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, said it’s nice to see The Bahamas finally getting an all-inclusive inventory, a product that is popular with Canadians.
Adding to the destination’s diversity are such brands as Courtyard by Marriott and Holiday Inn Express, now available for visitors in Nassau.
The tourism director noted that The Bahamas remains very popular with the romance and adventure markets, offering such activities as swimming with the sharks, kayaking, diving and fishing.
For agents with clients looking for a quiet, more secluded getaway, The Bahamas’ Outer Islands, such as The Exumas, Eleuthera and Andros, remain extremely popular.
Pictured at the event with a couple of Bahamian dancers are (l-r) Ellison Thompson and Jibrilu of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, D’Aguilar, and Paul Strachan, senior director, Bahamas Tourist Office, Canada.