The Ministry of Tourism believes its strategy of marketing The Bahamas as a 16-island destination helped spur a "whopping" 20 percent increase in Family Island visitors through August 2018.
And it feels its long-held ambition of creating a distinct brand identity for each island has boosted investor confidence in The Bahamas, as shown "by a deeper stake in our destination being secured by the leading cruise lines; the construction of boutique resorts throughout our islands; the building and expansion of marinas; and the coming on stream of a whole gamut of new touristic offerings".
Addressing a Service of Thanksgiving for the Ministry of Tourism's management and staff yesterday, Dionisio D’Aguilar, minister of tourism and aviation, said islands such as Exuma, Abaco, Bimini, Harbour Island and Eleuthera were becoming household names among international travellers as a result.
“Our destination overall is becoming more visible in the international travel marketplace, resulting in greater investor confidence in our nation,” Mr D’Aguilar said.
“There is an ever-increasing desire for our destination among travel consumers; more and more people are coming to experience The Bahamas, (and) the majority of our guests are leaving with a good level of satisfaction about their vacation experience.
"They are sharing their experiences, and we are delighted to see our destination being recognised internationally with another award. They are sharing their experience. And we are delighted to see our destination internationally-recognised by a number of prestigious travel awards."
Mr D’Aguilar said 2018 has been a growth year for Bahamian tourism so far. He added visitor arrivals show a “marked increase” over the first eight months of 2018 when compared to 2017.
“This current year, 2018, has proven to be a year of increase; for that we give thanks," he said. "In Nassau, we have seen a 15 per cent increase in stopover visitors, air arrivals, between January and August of this year when compared to last year.
"Visitor arrivals, air and sea combined, to the Family Islands have shown an increase of a whopping 20 per cent between January and August of this year. (Today) we pause to give thanks for all of these positive trends and others that are taking place in our destination. Thanks be to God; we are seeing the fruits of our labour."