Bahamas’ arrivals will recover this winter, according to the head of a resort that has seen a drop in guests due to the recent hurricanes.
The bahamas phase 4 reopening is a positive sign for the Bahamas tourism. The country’s chief of hotel operations said that their arrivals will recover this winter.
Despite a recent international credit rating agency report predicting that tourism activity in the country will take “several years” to return to pre-pandemic levels, the leader of the territory’s hotel and tourism association said Monday that overnight travelers to The Bahamas will increase significantly by the 2021-2022 winter season.
Robert Sands, president of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and senior vice president of Bahamas mega-resort Baha Mar, said in a Nassau Tribune interview that current bookings indicate that Bahamas tourism will recover “much of its pre-pandemic volumes” by the Christmas and New Year’s period, which spans the first four months of 2022.
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By this winter, Sands projected that land-based, overnight tourist visits in The Bahamas will be “close to 85 percent” higher than pre-COVID levels. COVID-19 procedures, as well as the “effect COVID has on the traveling public,” he warned, remain possible deterrents to travel.
Sands’ claims come after a Moody’s study released late last week that said the Bahamas’ tourist industry will not completely recover until 2024. “Despite an increase in tourist activity in recent months, the Bahamas risks a sluggish economic recovery and remains susceptible to future coronavirus variants,” according to the study.
“We anticipate it will take many years for visitor visits to recover to pre-pandemic levels observed in 2019,” the study adds. “We don’t anticipate stopover [overnight] arrivals, which are the most important indicators of tourism activity in terms of economic production and profits, to return to 2019 levels until at least 2024, and cruise ship passengers will recover much more slowly.”
In the meanwhile, Sands believes that a recovery to “100% of pre-COVID” land-based tourist arrivals in 2022 is “very achievable” provided hotels, resorts, and other tourism organizations can guarantee the health and safety of employees and guests while avoiding steps that may discourage prospective visitors.
The Bahamas was been classified as a “Level 4: COVID-19 Very High” destination by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the greatest risk for visitors.
In August, the Bahamas revised its health and safety procedures for incoming visitors, as well as tightening social gathering restrictions, including the imposition of a nighttime curfew.
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