March Tourism Arrivals Promising

Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace announced air arrivals to The Bahamas were increasing on a month-to-month basis during the last quarter of 2009, with forecasts for March 2010 "looking good".

"If you look at over the past four months, on a month by month basis, the number of air arrivals increased form September to December," the minister said yesterday at the 19th annual Bahamas Business Outlook... "[That trend] is going to continue into January."

February forecasts, however, are not so bright, although air arrivals seem like they will pick up the next month over in March. In the way forward, Vanderpool-Wallace said Tourism will focus strongly on bringing in the kind of high-net worth visitors that will have a big impact on the Bahamian economy. That's opposed to opting for the more budget friendly traveler who take cruises, for example.

"I hear people talking about cruise conversion. . . but there are a lot of people who cannot afford to be converted," he said. "We see what happens to visitor expenditure when we improve our effort to go after stopover visitors.

"We have to begin to court more upscale visitors that come into our country."

He added that the ministry was still intent on further highlighting the differences in the islands to appeal to those persons who tend to "collect islands" on each island.

Source: The Nassau Guardian