More to come as large hotels on islands reopening in next few days
The Bahamas is currently experiencing a steady growth in airport arrivals, which has given much more hope of a resurgence of tourism on the island.
The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) is already seeing an uptick in scheduled flights into Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) this month.
NAD Vice President of Marketing and Communications Jan Knowles reports that December passenger numbers are already trending above the previous two months of October and November. He contends that with the large hotels opening in the next few days, there is a hope that the increases will continue.
According to Knowles, as the holiday season draws near and the opening of Baha Mar and Atlantis is realised, tourism is surging.
Zooming in on the December flight numbers, Knowles disclosed that the airport has seen an increase in scheduled flights for December 2020, stating “as the major hotels reopen we are hopeful that the slight recovery in passenger numbers and flights we are seeing from month to month will steadily continue.”
Atlantis officially opened last week for the first time since the government enforced measures to stem the spread of COVID-19. Baha Mar is expected to open its doors to guests on December 17, for the first time since March, with other big hotels to follow shortly thereafter.
Year-to-date decrease in foreign arrivals
Economic data provided by the Central Bank of The Bahamas showed that, for the year-to-date, up to October 2020, foreign arrivals fell by 68 per cent compared to last year. In its Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for October 2020, The Central Bank of The Bahamas explained that, “underpinning this outturn, air arrivals declined by 72.4 per cent, following a gain of 11.6 per cent in the previous year, while sea visitors fell by 66.6 per cent, relative to a 10.1 per cent advance in 2019.”
The MEFD October 2020 report states that, “in terms of traffic through the country’s main gateway, data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited revealed that total international departures fell to 4,794 passengers during October, overturning the 1.7 per cent uptick to 91,115 recorded a year earlier.”
On a year-to-date basis, total foreign departures declined significantly by 71.7 per cent, a reversal from the 14.2 per cent expansion experienced in the prior year. By region, the US component, which is higher by volume, reduced by 72.7 per cent. This represents a turnaround from the 15.5 per cent growth recorded in 2019.
Similarly, the non-U.S. international component contracted by 64.8 per cent, contrasting with a 6.2 per cent increase a year earlier.