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Bounce Back Will Come For Tourism

Dionisio D’Aguilar

Dionisio D’Aguilar

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM officials have seen a “fall off” in vacation bookings for the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian and are projecting a nine percent decrease in visitor arrivals this year.

According to Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar yesterday, this has been a drawback of the monster storm despite a vigorous public relations push encouraging tourists to visit islands apart from storm-ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Negative public relations, Mr D’Aguilar said, had mainly caused many to rethink coming to the country.

“Oh, absolutely, there has been a lot of negative public relations about The Bahamas being destroyed,” the minister said yesterday when he was asked by The Tribune if tourism numbers were affected in the aftermath of Dorian.

“Obviously people are concerned when booking their holidays that they’re going to come to a country that’s been destroyed and decimated.

“Even though we’ve been trying to get the message out that that is not the case and only two islands have been impacted. We’ve definitely seen a fall off in our bookings.”

He continued: “If you look out through the end of the year, we’re projecting just under a 10 percent decrease this year over last year and that’s for two reasons: first of all the negative public relations about The Bahamas, but secondly as you can imagine we don’t have Abaco and Grand Bahama in our inventory anymore.

“They represented about 12 percent of our stopover visitors last year and so with them being out of commission you’re naturally going to see a decrease.

“So our decrease is around nine percent as opposed to the full 12 percent and so we’re a little encouraged by that.

“By early next year we’re seeing a bit of a rebound. That’s the nature of tourism, it’s very resilient. It’s subject to a lot of shocks – hurricanes, travel advisories but short-term memory is very short and it bounces back so we’re expecting that to happen.”

Officials have been trying to get ahead of the bad publicity, he said.

“We’re very active out in the market getting the message out.

“Just last week I spent four hours on television stations in the United States just going from one city to another city on prime time slots in major cities getting the message out that The Bahamas is open for business, (saying) ‘continue to book your holiday and the best way to help The Bahamas is to visit The Bahamas given our dependency on tourism.’”

Asked if the ministry could afford to ramp up its public relations, Mr D’Aguilar said: “I think what we’ve done is we’ve brought our spend forward. Obviously we had it mapped out over the year but given the urgency of the situation and given the fact that we really wanted to get the message out there that we were open to business, we brought forward a bit of our spend in order to get the message out so we’ll see, we’ll adjust. You know how budgets are you adjust here and there.”

The minister was also asked whether Grand Lucayan negotiations had been delayed.

He said they were initially pushed back by about four to six weeks, but were currently back on track, adding he remained very optimistic about the outcome.

“As we get down to the crunch line, we look over the terms of the arrangement, as we look over the heads of agreement it becomes very intense.

“A lot of meetings go on and then ultimately it comes up to the ministers and ultimately for the Cabinet to approve so understand certainly at the technical level the negotiations are going very well and then the policy and decisions will be brought to Cabinet and we’ll make a decision on that. But we’re very anxious for this to happen so I remain very optimistic,” he told The Tribune.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 1 month ago

What this little twerp will not admit is that many hotels throughout the country are reporting as much as a 40% decline in their bookings for this winter season. And we all know air arrival tourists spend much more than the pittance spent on average by cruise ship visitors most of which ends up in the pockets of the cruise ship companies that have been given their own islands or port areas by our very dumb politicians.

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killemwitdakno 1 month ago

Your hate sentiment wouldn’t help. Stop broad asking your prejudice.

Not to mention anyone who was checking our news would only read of a killing everyday in Nassau..

You got from the region’s carcass, now it’s they're turn to get from ours.

Fall out from not being diversified virtually. Better look into virtual tourism.

Part is also the airlines cancellations and not refunding or calls. Reach out to them somehow.

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Ton_Heijnmans 1 month ago

This highly insulting, ignorant b*ollox and his utter .BS crapology.


Bookings are down, not because dirty stupid foreigners don't know their arses from their fat, chubby elbows.


《They are so darn thick, you know, these meat-headed tourists》, explained the Grey Leprechaun silverback to its media fan club assembled.


He continued: 《I had to borrow The Peoples' Private Cesna Jet, and fly Hotel-to-Hotel, hanging out with all manner of my superior-level, white peers far, far away》, it explained.


《Anything, to get myself out of this sh1thole and its myriad, endless problems》, he added.


《 I explained to thém, again, that what these idiot, rich, holiday invaders, all saw happening over a five day period on LIVE CNN INTNL NEWS CASTS.... NON STOP PICTURES AND IMAGES of the most powerful hurricane-force meteorological event ever to have taken place anywhere in the world, ever, .... actually really happened, just like they all witnessed in real time, while all of our power was down during the first week in September, last》, he yabbered out of the hole situated just above its chinny-chinchin.


Meanwhile, he explained, the rounding-up and shipping-out of all black Useless Mouths, it's progressing at pace, and will obviously ward off the Wicked *itch of ze East, in future decades. Leaving you all, totally protected, thanks to our fine, uncompromising Superiority Leadersh1t and quick, swift, thorough aktions.


《How is recovery going. Cleanup operations, for instance, on Abaco, Marsh Harbor.....oh Great and Holy Masterful One?》, enquires one lady journalist from behind the Police Lines, 30 feet distance back and away from the grey little Leprechaun... standing on his little mini-star podium, up above.


Answering, the little Leprechaun shrugs their shoulders, extending both fore limbs outward with the whites of its palms raised skywards.....


《Marsh what.... on the island of where? We've never heard of these places you speak of you stupid little woman....》, he proclaims in finality.


With its standard, condescending and insulting, traumatizing tones.


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