How the bounce-back was working before the fourth wave

The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) report for November, said tourist arrivals increased by nearly 3,400 percent from 2020.

“Preliminary data from the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) showed that total visitor arrivals by first port of entry recovered to 260,942 in October, from 7,666 in the corresponding period of 2020, when international borders reopened with year to date restrictions,” the bank record.

“Contributing to this development, air arrivals rose to 56,875 from a mere 5,502 in the previous year—representing 75.8 percent of the arrivals in 2019. In addition, sea traffic rebounded to 204,067, compared with 2,164 in the prior year.

“Disaggregated by major market, total arrivals to New Providence grew to 140,581 from just 2,359 a year earlier. Underlying this development, the air and sea segments measured 44,083 and 96,498, respectively. Foreign arrivals to Grand Bahama increased to 13,996, compared with only 476 in the preceding year, as air and sea arrivals amounted to 1,407 and 12,589, respectively. Further, total traffic to the Family Islands strengthened to 106,365, vis-à- vis 4,831 in the prior year, owing to gains in the air and sea components to 11,385 and 94,980, respectively. “2020 was a dead year on almost all accounts as the country was in the grips of lockdown, only having been allowed to accept tourists in the later half of the year. Tourism activity at the end of 2020 was less than modest and didn’t build itself until the second quarter of 2021.

The report also said: “As cruise segment recovery only commenced in the second half of 2021, the year-to-date outcome for total arrivals was still decreased

by 30.9 percent - albeit significantly lower than the 70.5 percent reduction registered in 2020. Notably, air arrivals grew by 79.8 percent, a reversal from the 73.4 percent contraction recorded in the previous year, as all major markets registered positive movements during the review period. However, the cruise segment influenced a 61.4 percent falloff in sea traffic, after 2020’s decline of 69.6 percent.

“The most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) revealed that total departure - net of domestic passengers - advanced to 79,055 in November, from 9,777 in the corresponding month of 2020. Specifically, US departures increased to 68,425 from 7,800 in the preceding year; while non-US departures rose to 10,630 from 1,977 in 2020. On a year- to-date basis, outward bound traffic grew by 64.9 percent, contrasting with a 73.1 percent reduction last year. Underpinning this outcome, US departures moved higher by 83.8 percent, after a 74.1 percent falloff in the previous year. In contrast, the decline in non-US departures moderated to 30.0 percent, relative to 66.9 percent in the prior period.”

The report continued: “As it relates to the vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA for the month of November, compared with the same period last year, revealed that total room nights sold more than doubled to 95,440 from 39,917. Underlying this outturn, occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings firmed to 50.7 percent and 47.9 percent, from 31.3 percent and 31.6 percent in the corresponding 2020 period.

It added: “Pricing indicators showed that year-over-year the average daily rate (ADR) for hotel comparable listings moved higher by 11.1 percent to $181.76 and for entire place listings, by 8.8 percent to $490.95.

“On a year-to-date basis, total room nights sold firmed by 56.0 percent, reflecting respective gains in bookings for entire place and hotel comparable listings, by 58.3 percent and by 38.9 percent, respectively. “


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