For 2023, the figures reveal that in the Bahamas, one million 332 thousand 752 travelers arrived by air, and five million 876 thousand 413 arrived by sea, which is 33% more than in 2019. The data indicates that the number of vacationer arrivals has returned to the levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is projected that the country will welcome more than eight million visitors this year.
According to experts, the number of foreign air arrivals, including stopovers and day visitors, increased by 21 percent compared to 2022. Cruise arrivals also saw a significant increase, with a 61 percent rise from the beginning of the year until September compared to the same period in 2022 and a 45 percent increase compared to 2019. Hotel occupancy rates were higher than those of 2019, and the average daily room rates and revenue also exceeded those of that year.
Chester Cooper, the Minister of Tourism, Investment, and Aviation and also the Deputy Prime Minister, expressed his satisfaction with the news that the country's tourism sector is recovering after the health crisis.
He stated that the objective of their tourism efforts is to increase the number of visitors to their country. He proudly mentioned that the Bahamas tourism sector performance in 2023 has been remarkable, surpassing all metrics of the benchmark year 2019. This is a resounding indication of a post-pandemic rebound, according to Cooper.
Cooper estimated that the turnaround of the Bahamas tourism sector is the outcome of strategic planning and the continued confidence of hotel and cruise operators in the Bahamas brand. He further added that they are now confident of having a record year in tourist arrivals, and this is not a fluke.