PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (January 25, 2012) – The prime minister of the Bahamas sees signs of “recovery and return to sustained growth for tourism in our region.”
Speaking to more than a thousand attendees of the Caribbean Marketplace, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham saw “early signs of improvement are evident” with “a robust uptick in arrivals since November last. By a number of measures, this past December was particularly good for the 14 major Nassau and Paradise Island hotels.”
For the second year in a row “since the Great Recession,” the Bahamian leader reported “room occupancies, average daily rates and room rates were up last year. Perhaps most encouraging has been that visitors are spending longer periods with us and reporting improved levels of customer satisfaction.”
The prime minister told the opening session of the 30th Caribbean Marketplace, at the Atlantis resort, some of the increases were due to “aggressive action to revamp our product during the slowdown so as to be better prepared to benefit from the recovery as it occurs.”
The Bahamas focused on readying for the “inevitable global economic recovery as it occurs,” said Prime Minister Ingraham, adding, “our economy is therefore the beneficiary of the most comprehensive upgrade and expansion in our history.”
One of the highlights is a major redevelopment of the Lynden Pindling International Airport – part of a US $410 million, three-phased upgrade and expansion project. The first phase, a new US Departure Terminal, was completed and opened last March. The second phase is moving toward an on-schedule completion in October. The complete redevelopment should be fully open and operational by December 2013.