Today, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation (BMOTIA) joins the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in celebration of World Tourism Day and reflects on this year’s theme, “Rethinking Tourism”. Nearly two years since the onset of the global pandemic, the island nation has reinvigorated its tourism sector and continues to foster a vibrant future focused on the Bahamian people, culture and heritage, meaningful investments and an eye towards sustainability.
“This year’s theme is perfectly aligned to how we have strategically approached tourism and economic recovery and is a testament to how The Bahamas and the global tourism industry have had to reconsider the way tourism should look now and, in the future,” said the Hon. I. Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.
“There’s no doubt that our people, culture and environment are the essence of our tourism offering, and we must take steps now to both protect and promote them in order to evolve, strengthen and grow.”
With tourism statistics trending upward, including a 515.6% increase in air and sea arrivals compared to 2021, and a steady rise in new airlift from markets across the globe, The Bahamas’ tourism economy has made great strides towards reaching pre-pandemic levels with more tourism growth forecast for 2023. Contributing factors include:
- Culture and People: The Bahamas is known for its beautiful beaches, but the Bahamian people, culture and heritage are the heartbeat of the country. The return of cultural events and festivals brings much joy to all Bahamians, and heritage tourism is another meaningful step for recovery. Junkanoo, cited as one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated experiences, is slated to make a triumphant return this December, when Bahamians and visitors alike will be able to, once again, experience the vibrant cultural phenomenon.
- International and Domestic Investments: The Bahamas is a modern, progressive nation that is brimming with investment opportunities. There is a robust pipeline of investments with over $3B of credible investment projects approved across various sectors. The Bahamas continuously seeks international and domestic partners for continued upward momentum to rebuild a better, stronger Bahamas.
● A More Sustainable Future: Climate change continues to be a threat to The Bahamas’ natural beauty and resources, making it more important than ever to preserve and protect the archipelago. Initiatives have been introduced that steer the country towards a more sustainable future, including the creation of The Bahamas Destination Stewardship Council which was launched to promote more responsible tourism, environmental awareness and a healthier lifestyle overall at the community level.