By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS
ARAWAK Cay vendors said with the increase of business recently, sales are close to pre-pandemic levels, especially with the return of Junkanoo Summer Festival.
Following the two-year hiatus, festival attendees were able to take advantage of authentic Bahamian-made products, cultural demonstrations, Junkanoo museums and more throughout the month of July.
Food and Beverage manager at Twin Brothers Arawak Cay said Saturdays are typically a busy day for the establishment, however, thanks to the Junkanoo Summer Festivals, there is a mixture of locals and tourists patronising.
“Normally, Saturday is one of our busier days, but since the Junkanoo we have a mixture of the locals and tourists. So, we have benefitted pretty good,” Aniel Roker told The Tribune.
Despite the summer being their peak season, Roker said business has resumed to close to 100 percent normalcy following the pandemic.
“The summer is normally our busy period anyway, but during the COVID compared to now we are now back to close to 100 percent,” he said.
Sharing similar views, proprietor of the Ava Forbes Collection, said the event added to the businesses on Arawak Cay.
“The festival has added to the businesses out here on Fish Fry because it brought a lot of visitors and locals out to this area in comparison to days when there are practically very few people despite the abundance of boats in the habour. The festival has sort of highlighted Fish Fry as it allows people to get back into enjoying our own country as well as the visitors,” said Ms Forbes.
The local artesian said despite business not returning to 100 percent normalcy it has “rebounded” in some sense.
She said: “I cannot say its back 100 percent, but I do know that it has rebounded and it’s encouraging - I hope it continues, but to say it’s at 100 percent would be a little stretch.”
Ms Forbes said more programmes such as the Junkanoo Summer Festivals are needed to improve the economic landscape of the local vendors.
The festival is hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation, in partnership with the Junkanoo Corporation of New Providence.