Surging Tourism Across the Bahamas
Tourism in the Bahamas is experiencing a notable surge, with 2023 figures surpassing records. Chester Cooper, the Minister of Tourism, Investments, and Aviation, recently announced that tourism numbers in the country have exceeded 2019 figures by over 30%. This increase isn’t limited to Nassau in New Providence, a popular destination; it’s seen throughout the entire Bahamas, including Grand Bahama. Notably, Grand Bahama has witnessed an impressive 64% increase in tourist arrivals this year, while other islands, like Cat Island, Exuma, the Berry Islands, Eleuthera, and Abaco, are also experiencing substantial growth.
The United States and Canada remain primary sources of tourists, but there’s a growing influx from Latin America, the rest of the Caribbean, United Kingdom, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia. This indicates a robust demand for travel to the Bahamas.
Boosting Accessibility and Connectivity
Director of Aviation Dr. Kenneth Romer, shared promising news, stating, “We’re going to see a lot of airlift from the U.S., our key market source. We are also looking at how we could have Delta Airlines return again to Freeport,” Romer said. “This is going to be another banner year for Grand Bahama. All of our legacy carriers are committed to expanding their presence in Grand Bahama.” Current increased airlift plans include Copa Airlines returning to Nassau, private airline Tradewind Aviation expanding charters to the Bahamas, and American Airlines resuming flights to the Bahamas and increasing frequency in December 2023.
Luxury helicopter charter provider, HeliFlite, recently began charter flights to The Bahamas and the Caribbean for a “rapidly growing” market in South Florida, a statement on the service explained. HeliFlite will accommodate flights from all South Florida airfields to Baker’s Bay in Abaco, Nassau, Bimini and flights directly into exclusive private community Albany.
Driving Economic Growth with Strategic Projects
Additionally, there are several substantial projects in the works to boost the island’s economy and tourism. In the near future, Grand Bahama will experience:
- A $600 million expansion at the Grand Bahama Shipyard, set to be operational in 2026. This expansion will create opportunities for local businesses and contractors, generating hundreds of full-time jobs. It will also enable Grand Bahama to reestablish itself as the world’s largest cruise ship facility, further contributing to increased travel numbers and tourist spending.
- An investment value of $200,000,000 in the Carnival Grand Port project, officially branded as “Celebration Key.” This project will allow the capacity to host two of the world’s largest ships, accommodating up to 6,000 guests each.
- A $170 million redevelopment of the Grand Bahama International Airport (GBIA), recently announced by The Government of The Bahamas, slated for completion in 2025. Upon completion, GBIA will include amenities and facilities to enhance the travel experience to Grand Bahama and will provide convenient access for arrivals by both commercial and private flights to Six Senses Grand Bahama, located less than a 20-minute drive away.
Weller is excited to contribute to this ongoing tourism boom in Grand Bahama with the Six Senses Resort & Branded Residences, set to open in 2026. We see this as a journey of rebirth for Grand Bahama, and we are thrilled to be a part of uplifting this incredible island and its communities during this exciting time.
Learn more about the Bahamas tourist boom from the Nassau Guardian: