By the Caribbean Journal staff
It’s been a spectacular year so far for tourism in The Bahamas — and it’s gotten even better.
The country just released its first-half stopover visitor numbers, and the result is a 15.2 percent growth rate compared to the first six months of 2017 — and one of the fastest growth rates in the Caribbean.
That added another 110,000 visitors to the destination in the period.
The double-digit performance was driven by an 8.4 percent surge in arrivals from the United States, and a more than 30 percent increase in arrivals from the Canadian market.
“I have said it often, that I think we are doing extremely well,” Bahamas Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said in a press briefing at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau this week.
According to estimates, the average stopover visitor to The Bahamas spends north of $1,500, the Minister said.
That means an additional revenue injection of $165 million in the first half.
The increase has come from a number of factors, from a wave of new air routes to the destination, the performance of the Baha Mar megaresort, and, increasingly, a trend of visitors coming to the Out Islands of The Bahamas, particularly the Abaco chain of islands.
“We are very, very bullish on 2018 to see a strong finish to the year,” D’Aguilar said.