The tourism performance of the country throughout the fiscal year continues to “shatter” pre-pandemic levels, with Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper noting that The Bahamas is on track to welcome well over eight million visitors this year.
During his budget debate contribution, Cooper, the Tourism, Aviation and Investments Minister noted: “Our tourism performance during this fiscal year has consistently surpassed pre-pandemic levels, firmly establishing The Bahamas as a regional and global leader in terms of overall tourism recovery.
“As of April 2023, overall air and sea arrivals have exceeded 2022 levels by 79 percent and have outperformed the impressive 2019 numbers by 32 percent. Specifically, between January and April 2022, we welcomed a total of 1.9 million visitors.
“In that same period in 2019, we welcomed 2.7 million visitors. However, during the corresponding four-month period this year, we welcomed approximately 3.5 million visitors, and with eight more months ahead, we expect to continue this trend,” said Cooper.
“Based on the current trajectory, we are confident that we will surpass the historic 2019 overall visitor arrival numbers by the end of the third quarter, conservatively welcoming well over eight million visitors by the end of 2023.”
Cooper also highlighted the progress made in various regions of the country, including Nassau/Paradise Island, South Andros, North Andros and the Berry Islands, Cat Cay, Cat Island, Eleuthera, Exuma, and Long Island. He noted the significant recovery on San Salvador, which, after being closed for over two years, has now seen air stopovers return to 92 percent of its 2019 levels and is expected to achieve record air arrivals by the end of this year.