Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Wednesday challenged members of Team Tourism to “continuously up its game.” “In our tourism endeavour, we are guided by a powerful mantra: ‘It’s Better in The Bahamas.’ More so than describing a current state of reality, this mantra, is aspirational, urging, propelling, each of us ever onward, to improve the tourism product so that it indeed becomes better in The Bahamas, and The Bahamas becomes the go-to place of rejuvenation for travelers the world over,” Minister D’Aguilar said. “Let us collectively commit to continuously up our game so that The Bahamas becomes a place those of us call home can have a better, more equitable life, and a greater stake in an industry to which two-thirds of our population gives its labour and energy.”
Minister D’Aguilar’s comments came during a Press Conference (Wednesday, March 20, 2019) where he announced Tourism’s record-breaking performance over the course of 2018. Mr. D’Aguilar said all indicators project that the upward trend will continue throughout 2019. He applauded “Team Tourism” for the role their collective efforts played in ensuring a record-breaking 2018. “Tourism is a team effort. Ours is an all-encompassing team that includes me, the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, and my tourism team throughout The Bahamas and overseas, our promotion boards, our hotels, large and small, our contracted marketing and advertising agencies, cruise operators, airlines, our network of travel professionals, every local tourism-related operation, each and every Bahamian who works in the industry throughout the length and breadth of The Bahamas.
“As the CEO leading the tourism enterprise, it gives me great pleasure and pride this afternoon to report that in 2018, our collective effort has yielded results that are record-breaking. Our tourism numbers are up by 16.9%. All indicators project that this trend will continue throughout 2019. It will take all of us, united in effort and purpose, to sustain the growth in tourism that we have achieved over the past 12 months.” Minister D’Aguilar said the industry’s record-breaking performance in foreign air and sea visitor arrivals to The Bahamas, can be attributed to the collective efforts of Team Tourism and the successful elevation of the awareness and visibility of The Bahamas’ brand, that was accomplished via the use of a robust, marketing strategy.
The Bahamas received far more visitors to its shores in 2018 – 6.6 million — than in any previous year in its “entire history of being engaged” in the tourism business. The increase in 2018 was experienced nationwide — Nassau/ Paradise Island, Grand Bahama and in the major Family Islands.Mr. D’Aguilar also announced that the major hotels on Nassau and Paradise Island recorded a 34% increase in room revenues during 2018, gains not experienced in the past ten years. The Ministry’s robust marketing efforts, Mr. D’Aguilar said, also helped to earn the country a number of prestigious regional and international awards: “To name a few: Caribbean Travel Journal, the largest website covering Caribbean tourism, bestowed on The Bahamas, awards for Best Caribbean Destination and Best Caribbean Tourism Minister. Of course, for personal reasons, the latter award makes me smile. “The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation received three awards for outstanding travel marketing at the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), the largest and most prestigious global travel marketing competition. “In the Public Relations category, the Ministry was honored with a Gold Adrian Award for excellence in influencer marketing and a Bronze Adrian Award for its communications campaign. In the Advertising category, the Ministry was recognized for advertising innovation for its unique 16-island marketing strategy,” Minister D’Aguilar added.