November 4, 2021
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The Bahamian tourism industry yesterday warned it “can ill-afford to be derailed” from its post-COVID recovery by a hike in electricity prices which remain “pivotal” to the sector’s global competitiveness.
Tourism operators yesterday said “Christmas has come early” after the Government announced the elimination of COVID entry testing for vaccinated visitors and the Health Travel Visa with effect from this Sunday.
Tourism executives are warning The Bahamas “stands out like a sore thumb” over its continued COVID entry testing measures after the US eliminated such restrictions with effect from midnight yesterday.
A top hotelier yesterday warned The Bahamas “must not allow apathy” to undermine the COVID fight, while admitting the surge in cases will make the Government “more tentative” over the further restriction easing sought by tourism.
THERE has been no slowdown so far in bookings after the US Centers for Disease Control raised the COVID risk rating for The Bahamas to level two - but hoteliers are on the alert as new subvariants are spreading in the US and could reach our shores.
A senior hotelier is calling for an “all hands on deck” approach to combating crime given that it poses “a major risk” to The Bahamas’ continued post-COVID tourism and economic recovery if not controlled.
A senior hotelier yesterday voiced optimism that The Bahamas’ achievement in attaining the highest-possible COVID rating with US health regulators “paves the way” for both to review the testing protocols required to enter their nations.
A top hotelier yesterday said tourism demand for the post-Easter weekend period is “higher than it’s ever been” and “going beyond the traditional ring fencing” that usually marks the peak winter season climax.
The Bahamas’ total resort room inventory has been slashed by 2,500 compared to 2019 levels, a top hotelier said yesterday, arguing that no indicator of industry performance should be viewed in isolation.
The Bahamas is “unquestionably” in a strong competitive position after US federal health authorities confirmed this nation’s COVID ranking is set to be upgraded to ‘moderate’, a top hotelier said yesterday.
A senior hotelier yesterday said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is “preaching to the choir” over its call to make increased COVID-19 vaccination rates The Bahamas’ leading economic policy priority.
BAHAMAS Hotel and Tourism Association President Robert Sands says the country’s newly lowered travel risk rating by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention “is a step in the right direction”.
The Government’s decision to partially lift the COVID mask mandate for resorts was yesterday hailed by a top hotelier as placing The Bahamas “on the cutting edge” of post-pandemic recovery.
A top hotelier last night said The Bahamas’ long-awaited COVID upgrade by the US health authorities will help ensure “pent-up demand for travel to The Bahamas continues unabated”.
A top hotelier yesterday said he is “praying daily” for the US health authorities to upgrade The Bahamas’ COVID ranking amid calls from some in the industry to “shelve” all pandemic restrictions,.
A top hotelier yesterday said the oil price impact from Russia’s war on Ukraine meant it was “more important now than ever before” that Bahamas Power & Light’s (BPL) fuel hedge be renewed.
A prominent hotelier yesterday urged the Government to consider relaxing COVID mask mandates in resorts and other tourist amenities where the majority of persons are fully vaccinated.
Tourism executives yesterday hailed the re-opening of markets that accounted for up to 13 percent of this nation’s pre-COVID visitor base as “a very big deal for The Bahamas”.
The Government was yesterday urged to eliminate the 48 hour in-country COVID testing requirement for all tourists and make The Bahamas “more competitive” for the peak winter season.
BAHAMAS Hotel and Tourism Association president Robert Sands said the “bigger issue” for the country is changes in entry protocols as opposed to health travel warnings from the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Government’s adjustments to the COVID isolation and quarantine rules have strengthened the “building blocks of travel confidence” for the peak winter tourism season, a top hotelier says.
Bahamian tourism was yesterday said to have secured “a huge win” after millions of dollars in visitor bookings were rescued by the Government suspending tougher COVID testing measures.
The Government last suspended the mandatory COVID PCR tests for all visitors due to take effect from January 7 after being urged to “rescue” the peak winter tourism season.
A TOP hotelier said “tourism momentum will increase” with the Centres for Disease Control lowering the country’s travel advisory to Level 2 from Level 3.
A senior hotelier yesterday welcomed the Government’s decision to clarify which two days will be designated as “holidays” this Christmas for better enabling the industry to control labour costs.
Retailers have been given a 90-day transition period to deal with the repricing “nightmare” caused by the VAT rate cut, one saying yesterday: “We hope this is the last change for a very long time.”
The Bahamian tourism industry yesterday voiced relief that the US chose not to impose harsher COVID border restrictions that would have undermined the peak Christmas/New Year season.
The emergence of a new COVID-19 strain threatens to put “a real dampener” on Bahamian tourism’s rebound and that of the wider economy in the Christmas run-up, it was feared yesterday.
Bahamian resorts are seeing the high-occupancy Christmas period expand by 50 percent, a top hotelier has revealed, adding of the post-COVID rebound: “We couldn’t have asked for more.”
Major Bahamian resorts are set to enjoy occupancies “in excess of 90 percent” over the Thanksgiving holiday, a top hotelier disclosed yesterday, adding: “We’re not looking back.”
Resorts are eyeing “unprecedented” Christmas occupancies after the US upgraded The Bahamas’ COVID status, a top hotelier said yesterday, with many on pace to beat pre-pandemic levels.
A top hotelier yesterday issued “a clarion call” for The Bahamas to eliminate legal stipulations that mandate employers must pay for their workers’ COVID-19 testing.
A top hotelier yesterday conceded it will “be very difficult” for existing Bahamian resorts to fully return to 100 percent of pre-COVID staffing levels due to the changed working environment.