BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM, INVESTMENTS & AVIATION AT WORLD TRAVEL & TOURISM COUNCIL GLOBAL SUMMIT 2023
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) is attending the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, 1-3 November, with a delegation led by the Director General, Latia Duncombe. Accompanying the Director General is Anthony Stuart (Senior Director, Emerging markets) and Faye Cash (Director, International Relations).
While WTTC forecasts indicate an 11.5% increase in travel and tourism investment for 2023, recent surveys highlight that environmental risks rank among the top 10 global risks. This year's dialogue will focus on sustainable investment, incorporating data and insights into the environmental and social impact of decisions made by travel and tourism stakeholders, while also addressing broader objectives related to nature, people, and communities.
The WTTC 2023 unites leaders from both the public and private sectors, including government ministers, top CEOs and tourism professionals worldwide. It promotes dialogue and provides a platform to address priorities, concerns, and opportunities for collaboration within the tourism sector. Over the course of the three-day event, the team will be looking forward to discussing developments in The Bahamas, sharing updates on tourism trends and highlighting developments opportunities for the upcoming year, including:
The Bahamas’ Tourism Boom
During the period January-September 2023, The Bahamas welcomed a record number of visitors (7.2 million) to its isles, surpassing 2022’s numbers by 50.4% and outpacing the same period in 2019 by 33%, previously regarded as The Bahamas’ banner year for tourism. The country is now on target to welcome more than 8 million visitors this year.
Foreign air arrivals, which include stopovers and day visitors, are up 21% over the same period in 2022 and stopover visitors through September are just shy of the total number of stopover visitors for the same period in 2019.
Cruise arrivals have achieved impressive growth this year, with a 61% uplift seen in January to September 2023, compared to 2022. This surge is attributed to the robust resurgence of the cruise industry and is further bolstered by the announcement of Carnival Cruise Line’s exclusive cruise port destination. Itineraries to “Celebration Key” opened in September 2023, and plans are in place to welcome travellers in July 2025.
This announcement, as well as the positive increase in visitors this year signals continued developments underway on Grand Bahama Island, to establish the destination as the home of events and entertainment in The Bahamas.
In the UK, the number of visitors to The Bahamas grew by 21% in the first three quarters of 2023 (January to September), when compared to the same period in 2022.
Celebration of The Bahamas 50th Anniversary of Independence
The Bahamas continues to celebrate its 50th year of independence following the official festivities this summer on 10th July. Visitors to WTTC can learn more about the islands and the celebrations that are being enjoyed across the islands, including The Bahamas officially changing its national sport from cricket to sailing in recognition of the islands’ position and tropical waters. This change reflects our commitment to honouring our heritage and embracing the activities that are integral to our culture.
The Bahamas bolsters burgeoning cruise industry with new Nassau Cruise Terminal
After three years of construction, the reimagined Nassau Cruise Port opened its doors in May 2023 to cruisers sailing to Nassau, the vibrant capital city of the archipelago. Featuring a sixth berth and new terminal building, the revitalised port is now home to a Junkanoo museum, event and entertainment spaces, a 3,500-seat amphitheatre, a living coral exhibit, local stores and new food and beverage facilities.
The iconic British Colonial hotel set to reopen
Following its closure in 2021, The Bahamas is delighted to welcome back the legendary British Colonial hotel to its accommodation stock in Nassau, New Providence Island.
With a complete transformation to the property, the British Colonial will reopen in December 2023 where it will showcase a redesign of all guest rooms, public spaces, amenities and onsite programmes. An exciting time for Nassau, the boutique property has been a key part of the Nassau hotel scene for over 100 years and is set to once again welcome guests to enjoy its relaxed luxury in the heart of Bay Street.
Latia Duncombe, Director General at BMOTIA comments, “The World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit is a prominent marker in our calendar, consistently delivering a stimulating and inspiring forum through its excellent programme of events, roundtables and panels. Therefore, I am delighted to be in attendance once again, to lead our delegation from The Bahamas.
“Along with my colleagues, we look forward to joining in and appreciating the varied sessions in the Global Summit schedule, including Thursday’s panel, Clearing the Pathway. In September 2023, The Bahamas recorded its highest visitor numbers and with the news that global tourism is expected to reach 96% of 2019 levels¹ in Q4 of 2023, conversations around driving the global economy through tourism and supporting emerging markets, is imperative.
“In the hotseat session titled ‘Meet the Traveller of the Future’, we’ll be interested to find out what we might come to expect from future visitors to The Bahamas and to understand how tourism’s impact on climate will affect traveller behaviours. Our nation is made up of thousands of islands and cays, intrinsically linked to the ocean and therefore, directly susceptible to the effects of global warming. It is our goal as caretakers of The Bahamas and its tourism industry, to protect and safeguard our nation against the impact of climate change.
“We join the WTTC Global Summit 2023 as responsible patrons of The Bahamas and look forward to learning more from our industry peers, sharing our stories of sustainability and collaborating on the future of responsible travel.”
Find out more about The Islands of The Bahamas, here: www.bahamas.com
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
With over 700 islands and cays and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy flyaway escape that transports travellers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas has world-class fishing, diving, boating, birding, and nature-based activities, thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and pristine beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com, download the Islands of the Bahamas app or visit Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.
Samantha Day, Lucia Cappiello, Stefaniia Konovalova