The Bahamas has had a rough year. Hurricane Dorian left parts of the nation destroyed, and the Bahamas is still struggling to rebuild. However, many parts of the country were untouched by the storm. After the hurricane, the country worked hard to push it’s “open for business” message, and it appears to have worked.
Senior Director of Airlift Development for the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Tyrone Sawyer said, “There has been significant growth in air seat capacity to Nassau, North Eleuthera and Exuma, major Bahamas markets, from the following hubs: Charlotte, Atlanta, Toronto, Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth and Newark.
“These are some of the key hubs undergirding airlift to the islands of The Bahamas, and this increase in airlift to The Bahamas is well-positioned to drive the country’s tourism growth. There is a high volume of non-stop flights from key tourist markets in close proximity The Bahamas. This proximity advantage gives The Bahamas the unique ability to attract high income visitors, with the desire to achieve a foreign, accessible, authentic vacation experience at competitive prices.”
Airlines are also eyeing the Bahamas more. Sawyer pointed out that airline companies are adding new and increased flights this winter travel season. JetBlue, United Airlines, Silver Airways, and Air Canada are all adding new flights or increasing the number of flights to the Bahamas in the coming year.
“The islands of The Bahamas have – and will – benefit from increases in non-stop air seat capacity from core tourist markets like New York, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Boston, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville and Chicago.”
The Bahamas rely heavily on tourism and losing out on this income while trying to rebuild after a devastating storm would have been detrimental to the nation. Luckily, the Bahamas is rebounding well and has been working towards increasing tourism, especially to the Family Islands such as Exuma. There are currently plans for Exuma and other Family Islands to get much-needed airport upgrades, and the Bahamas is testing out a pre-clearance for flights coming from Florida.
Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation, said, “Over the past two years we have seen improved load factor performance by most of our airline partners serving the islands of The Bahamas from origin and destination markets.
“This increase in consumer demand, driven by vigorous promotional efforts in the marketplace by the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and our industry partners, has given our airline partners renewed confidence to increase air seat capacity from key markets to set the stage for further growth.”