on the beach in nassau
Nassau, The Bahamas.

The Bahamas Is Seeing “Explosive” Visitor Growth 

By: Dana Niland - September 6, 2023

Tourism is booming in The Bahamas, with visitor numbers ahead of where they were before the onset of the pandemic. 

The country’s erformance has outpaced projections for the first seven months of 2023, with more than 5.89 million total visitors from January through the end of July, according to new data from the Ministry of Tourism. 

Current tourism performance in The Bahamas puts the country well on the way to closing out the year at 8 million plus visitors, combining air and sea arrivals. 

Of the 5,893,118 total visitors who came to The Islands of The Bahamas in the first seven months of the year, 1,133,494 arrived by air and 4,759,624 by sea. 

bahamas travel requirements
Tropic of Cancer Beach in Little Exuma.

July year-to-date arrivals are pacing 59 percent ahead of 2022 and 30 percent ahead of 2019, the busiest year on record.

Comparing 2023 overall arrivals by month, March arrivals peaked at 951,311, making it the busiest arrivals month in history. 

Overall tourist spending is also up, officials said. 

bahamas cruises
Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Berry Islands.

Major hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island experienced occupancy rates for 2023 eclipsing those of corresponding periods in 2019 and 2022. 

Average Daily Rate is up an average of 59 percent compared to 2019, and room revenues are up 42 percent for the same period. 

More than 60 percent of visitors came to The Bahamas for the first time, with arrivals from nearly every region showing an increase over the same period last year.

bahamas bimini swim up
A swim-up room at Resorts World Bimini.

“The stronger than expected results speak to vibrancy of The Bahamas’ brand, methodical business strategies and the hard work of tourism industry professionals and stakeholders,” said Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Tourism Minister Chester Cooper. “We are seeing record arrivals because we have all worked together to resuscitate our tourism industry, coming out of the pandemic, and because we continue to improve our tourism product.”

In our cruise business, The Port of Nassau welcomed the largest share of cruise arrivals followed by The Berry Islands (Coco Cay), Bimini (mainland and Ocean Cay), Half Moon Cay, Grand Bahama and Abaco (Castaway Cay), respectively. 

the beach on white sound
The beach at the Bluff House on Green Turtle Cay in Abaco.

Overall cruise arrivals, January through July, are up 72.1 percent over the corresponding period last year, and 43 percent ahead of the 2019 historic cruise arrival figures. 

Overall air stopover arrivals surpassed 2022 numbers by 24 percent, and matched 2019 figures.

The destination’s biggest market for visitors remains the United States, representing 90 percent of overall visitor arrivals, followed by Canada, and the United Kingdom and Europe. 

The Latin American market is gaining momentum in its steady return to pre-pandemic stopover levels.

Looking at visitor trends, from January through July, 70 percent of all stopover visitors came to The Bahamas primarily for a vacation, 15 percent for weddings and honeymoons, 6 percent to play in casinos, four percent for business and five percent for “other/undisclosed” reasons.

atlantis with trees in background
Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas.

“With a better developed downtown to complement the new cruise port and added destinations within The Bahamas coming on stream, the numbers will only continue to grow, if we continue to deliver great service and experiences,” said Cooper. “The plan for the redevelopment of Family Island airports and the construction of the new airport in Grand Bahama will reap rewards for Bahamians well into the future.”

“The last seven months of 2022 were the strongest in our history, prior to 2023,” he said. “The first seven months of 2023 exceeded the expectations of tourism officials. Our job is to stay ahead of the demand.”

Cooper said that government initiatives like the restructured Tourism Development Corporation will present entrepreneurship opportunities for Bahamians.

“We are experiencing explosive growth in tourism that can no longer be explained by pent up post-pandemic demand,” the minister said. “Great jobs and career opportunities are to be had in tourism, but there is also massive potential for ownership. The government is putting in place systems to allow Bahamians access to the training, certification, support and capital they need to take advantage of the country’s popularity as a tourist destination.”

Popular Posts cape santa maria

From Anguilla to Aruba, the Best Caribbean Beaches to Visit This Summer

Forget the Hamptons, forget Santorini. And Florida? There’s a reason snowbirds go home in the summer. If you’re looking for a summertime beach getaway, the Caribbean is it. The water is deliciously warm, the trade winds keep you cool and […]

From Belize to Grenada, 10 Little Caribbean Beach Resorts to Visit Right Now 


There are different resorts for different vacations, different tastes, different moods. For some, there’s something delicious about a pint-sized, tiny Caribbean resort, where the emphasis is on the intimate, the serene. Where the soundtrack isn’t a piped-in DJ set, but […]

Southwest Airlines Is Starting New Flights to Turks and Caicos, Cayman and The Bahamas 

beach at palms resort with umbrellas

Orlando has become an increasingly important source market for Caribbean travel in recent years, with carriers like Spirit and JetBlue adding new routes to the region to destinations like Cancun, Punta Cana and Puerto Rico.  Now, another carrier has is […]

Related Posts cruise grand bahama with families buying souvenirs

Carnival Just Revealed More Details on Its New Grand Bahama Cruise Port

Carnival Cruise Line is in the process of developing a major new cruise destination on the island of Grand Bahama, and now the company has revealed more details on the project. Carnival’s Celebration Key will be featuring a retail destination […]

Norwegian Cruise Line Is Adding Caribbean, Bahamas Cruises From a New US Homeport

norwegian cruise line bahamas

Norwegian Cruise Line is adding a new homeport next year: Jacksonville, Fla, Caribbean Journal has learned.  The company has signed a three-year agreement to homeport its Norwegian Gem cruise port in Jacksonville, beginning in November 2025.  The 2,394-guest-capacity ship will […]

St Barth, Aruba to Headline Four Seasons’ Luxury Caribbean Cruises 

st barth aruba cruise

Following the lead of Ritz-Carlton, whose Yacht Collection is already sailing the region, Four Seasons is getting into the ultra-small-ship luxury cruising space, with its first “yacht” under construction in Italy.  Now, the company has announced its first lineup of […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You