Bahamas Eyeing 1.3 Million Stopover Visitors in 2013

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Above: Atlantis Paradise Island

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Bahamas is looking to bring in 1.8 million stopover visitors in 2013, an increase from 1.6 million in 2012, according to Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe.

The Minister was speaking at a press conference ahead of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace conference, which is being held in Nassau beginning Jan. 20 by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

The Bahamas also hosted the event last year, the only time any Caribbean country has hosted the event in two consecutive years.

“This is significant because it means that there is something special about the islands of the Bahamas,” he said. “We have hosted professionals who traveled the world. They have seen and experienced the best in hospitality many times over, and in returning to our shores this year, they are acknowledging that we do things the right way in the Bahamas.”

Stuart Bowe, the president of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, said last year’s Marketplace event helped contribute to what he said was a turnaround for tourism in the region.

“When the information is fully compiled, the Bahamas should see increases in 2012 in hotel occupancy rates and our best year since 2008,” Bowe said.

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