A mere two months after hurricane Dorian devastated Grand Bahama Island and the Abacos, causing dire collateral damage to the nation’s number-one industry, tourism to the Bahamas was at 80% of pre-storm numbers, reports Quebec editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press.
“For us that was quite incredible,” exclaimed Olivier Ponti, VP Insights at travel analytics company Forward Keys, who pointed out that it took Puerto Rico 15 months to get to 70% of pre-hurricane Maria numbers, while it took a full 20 months to achieve the same percentage after Irma hit St. Maarten.
Ponti told a recent World Travel Market press briefing that, prior to Dorian, Bahamas arrivals were cruising ahead at 5.2% due mainly to strong numbers from Canada and the US.
“That switched to negative numbers because the impact on bookings and cancellations was immediate and serious from both markets but Forward Keys estimates that the Bahamas will recover completely much quicker than other hurricane affected destinations,” he said.
Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas ministry of tourism and aviation told reporters, “We spent only one week in disaster mode then went into marketing overdrive. All our marketing people were on the road talking to airlines, tour operators and travel agents and the collective government and industry strategy worked well.”
For more, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.