Grand Bahama experienced a 116.8 percent increase in sea arrivals in October 2017 when compared to the same period last year, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) monthly economic report for November 2017, released yesterday.
The report shows that in October 2016, sea arrivals fell by 84.1 percent and air arrivals were down by 72.3 percent. The significant reduction was a result of the passage of Hurricane Matthew, which left the Grand Lucayan resort complex closed to date.
However, air and sea traffic for October 2017 increased by 26.8 percent and 116.8 percent respectively.
“In terms of the major markets, traffic to Grand Bahama – which was severely impacted by the storm in 2016 – nearly doubled on a yearly basis,” the regulator explained.
Despite the improvement, the island still suffered a reduction in air and sea arrivals for the first ten months of this year.
According to the report, air arrivals contracted by 48.6 percent and sea arrivals were down by 26.5 percent for the ten-month period.
Grand Bahama experienced a 29.9 percent decline in total arrivals to the island.
The report also shows tourism data for other Family Islands.
“Over the first 10 months of the year, tourism inflows remained weak as visitor arrivals contracted by three percent, vis-à-vis a 2.8 percent uptick in the comparable period of 2016,” the regulator said.
“This reflected declines in both the air and sea segments, by 6.9 percent and 1.8 percent, a reversal from gains of 0.9 percent and 3.4 percent respectively, recorded in the prior year.
“In Grand Bahama, arrivals plunged by 29.9 percent, amid contractions in both the air and sea segments by 48.6 percent and 26.5 percent respectively,” the report points out.
“Comparatively, visitors to the Family Islands fell by 2.4 percent, reflecting a falloff in the dominant cruise segment by 4.8 percent, overshadowing the 11.7 percent gain in air arrivals.
“Further, in New Providence, total visitors firmed by 3.7 percent, as the 7.7 percent increase in sea visitors eclipsed the 5.9 percent falloff in air tourists.”
The regulator contended that in 2018, tourism output is “projected to be supported” by the final phased opening of the Baha Mar resort in the first half of the new year.