The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. Chester Cooper appeared at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on Thursday where he touted the record numbers of tourists visiting the country.

Cooper told reporters 5.8 million people visited The Bahamas between January and July 2023. “Of our 5.8 million total visitors more than 1.3 million came by air whilst 4.76 million came by sea.  So to put that into context during the entirety of 2022 1.4 visitors came by air and 5.5 came by sea. Further, at the end of August, we would have already surpassed arrivals of all prior years prior to 2018,” he said.

The Minister also revealed plans in the works to enter new markets.  He said, “we also plan on having new major airlift continue to grow, as we have been doing over the course of the last eighteen months and we’re planning new routes for Bahamasair as well.  With Bahamasair we also have a partnership in the making with Qatar Airlines to take a deep dive look at the operations and to help us strengthen and grow Bahamasair.”

Cooper says barring an act of God tourism numbers are expected to surpass 8 million and that the government plans to make it easier for visitors and Bahamians to legitimately enter the country by introducing an electronic immigration declaration form.