NASSAU, The Bahamas — Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. I. Chester Cooper announced that The Bahamas has recorded a smashing eight million plus tourist arrivals.
“In 2019, a historic year for Bahamas tourism, total visitor arrivals amounted to 7.2 million. Last year, total tourist numbers matched the 2019 record year total and today we are over eight million,” the Acting Prime Minister said during a press conference and brunch at Margaritaville Beach Resort Meeting Room Ballroom on Monday, December 4, 2023.
He pointed out that the Ministry still has not counted the months of November and December.
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said the explosive numbers places the country on the trajectory to continue the upward trend well into 2024.
“For the first 10 consecutive months, January to October, total air and sea arrivals were higher when compared to the same months in 2022 and in 2019 which was then, our banner year of tourism. We have now moved the goal post.”
He said, “In fact, foreign air and sea arrivals in October increased by 45.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2022 and surpassed 2019 levels by 32 per cent.”
The Acting Prime Minister explained that the US remains the top performing stopover market with the Latin American market gaining momentum in its steady return to pre-pandemic stopover levels, while increased visitor arrivals are coming from Latin America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and as far as Australia.
He said foreign air arrivals for October year-to-date were up by 19.7 per cent for the same period last year and also surpassed 2019 levels.
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said cruise arrivals were up 54 per cent over 2022 levels and 43.2 per cent over 2019 levels.
“We estimate that direct visitor spending in the Bahamian economy as a result of these arrivals will far exceed $6 billion. That’s right, more than $6 billion of new money injected directly into the economy, and this is also up compared to 2019 and 2022.”
He also noted that the nation has seen increased airlift including first time routes.
“Last month, we welcomed the first ever direct non-stop flight by Jet Blue connecting passengers from Los Angeles to Nassau.
“In less than two weeks, Alaska Air will service four weekly flights from Los Angeles International Airport and three times weekly flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Nassau Lynden Pindling International Airport.”
The Acting Prime Minister said The Bahamas Government has launched a public private partnership airport infrastructural project for 14 Family Island airports to increase both domestic and international travel.
He explained that less than a year ago, the $2 million renovation was completed at Great Harbour Cay International Airport and a new terminal was opened in Ragged Island.
“More recently, a management agreement was signed by The Bahamas and Bimini Airport Development Partners Limited to renovate South Bimini Airport to the tune of $80 million.”
Acting Prime Minister Cooper said the $300 million Nassau Cruise Port renovation was completed and the port is now fully opened.
“The port already surpassed its previous record at the end of November and will host at least a projected 4.2 million cruise passengers by the end of the year, setting a new benchmark for Nassau cruise passenger arrivals.”
He also noted that the Ministry of Tourism has intensified its strategic marketing efforts and last year launched the successful “Bringing The Bahamas to You” campaign to more than 15 cities in the USA and Canada to recapture market share and generate new leads.
Bahamas Consulate Opens in LA
#Bahamas#LosAngeles, February 19th, 2024 – The Bahamas Consulate General in Los Angeles, United States. officially opened on February 19th, 2024, by Prime Minister Philip Davis, reaffirming the commitment of the Government to protect all Bahamians as well as The Bahamas’ Economic interests and provide consular support for Bahamians on the West Coast of the United States. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
NBA’s Buddy Hield appointed as Ambassador
#BuddyHield#Bahamas, February 19th, 2024 – Accomplished Bahamian Basketball player Chavano Buddy Hield, has been appointed as Ambassador-at-Large for Sports and Cultural Achievement, by the Davis Administration. This is a major accomplishment recognizing, according to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hield’s outstanding journey from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to the NBA as well as his commitment to inspire Bahamians. Prime Minister Philip Davis speaking at his Credential Presentation, expressed great appreciation to Hield. He said “Thank you for being a shining example of what it means to be truly great, both on and off the court. Congratulations Ambassador.”
UNDP appoints new Resident Representative for The Bahamas
[Nassau, 6 February 2024] – The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) newly appointed Resident Representative for The Bahamas, Kishan Khoday presented his credentials to Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusa Ali yesterday at the Ministry.
As Resident Representative assigned to the UNDP Multi-Country Office in Jamaica, Mr. Khoday also represents UNDP in The Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Mr. Khoday, a Canadian national of Indian descent, is currently leading a team from the Kingston office on the first leg of an official mission to The Bahamas and Bermuda. While in Nassau, he will also meet with Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Vaughn Miller; Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Honourable Jomo Campbell as well as other officials from the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Social Services and Community Development and the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities.
In welcoming the new Resident Representative, Ms Ali lauded significant areas of ongoing cooperation with the UNDP including disaster resilience and climate change adaptation and mitigation. She also outlined other key areas for potential collaboration related to digitization and data collection.
Mr. Khoday pledged continuing support for The Bahamas’ development aspirations anchored on an inclusive and sustainable approach that leaves no one behind. He lauded the significant partnership between UNDP and the Government on the nation’s disaster management, climate resilience, biodiversity and debt management agendas, as well as investments in community-based action through the UNDP-implemented GEF Small Grants Programme and the India-funded Abaco Shelter project. He said that through the current Country Programme (CP)(2022-2026), UNDP offers a strategic approach to combating multidimensional poverty and advancing climate resilient, nature-based pathways, leveraging UNDP’s capacities in innovation, digitalization, and sustainable finance. “As we near the 50th anniversary of UNDP cooperation in The Bahamas, I look forward to building on our long-standing history and expanding cooperation in a way that builds resilience to multi-dimensional crises and advances results under the SDGs. This includes our partnerships for social inclusion and community empowerment; climate resilience and biodiversity, disaster management and sustainable finance,” he stated.
Mr. Khoday has served with UNDP for 25 years, having coordinated over USD $1 billion in country programming to help partners and communities around the world advance inclusive and sustainable development pathways. This included tours of duty with UNDP Country Offices in China, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia and with UNDP’s regional offices for the Middle East and North Africa based in Egypt and Jordan. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Khoday worked with government and community organizations in his home countries of Canada and India on issues of poverty reduction, ecological resilience, and community empowerment.
Mr. Khoday is a scientist and lawyer, holding a Juris Doctorate specializing in constitutional, international, and environmental law; a Master of Science in natural resource management focused on land and water systems, and a Bachelor of Science in agriculture specializing in biodiversity and ecological change. The UNDP Resident Representative is a frequent speaker at international conferences and policy dialogues on the development agenda and a recognized thought leader on strategic issues such as climate change, ecosystem resilience, constitutionalism, postcolonial and decolonial theory, and resilience-based approaches to development, having published extensively on these and other issues.
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