Tourism Minister Thanks Industry Partners and Stakeholders for Their Part in Tourism Upsurge

Officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation held a Reception in appreciation for its partners and stakeholders and at the Nexus Club, Baha Mar on Monday, January 30, 2023. In attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper; Senator the Hon. Randy Rolle, Global Relations Consultant, MOTIA; His Excellency Ron Pinder, Ambassador-at-Large; Latia Duncombe, Director General, MOTIA; MOTIA executive and staff members; Graeme Davis, President, Baha Mar; Robert ’Sandy’ Sands, SVP of Government & Community Relations, Baha Mar; Audrey Oswell, President and Managing Director, Atlantis; Russell Miller, Executive Vice-President of Hotel Operations, Atlantis; Vaughn Roberts, Senior Vice-President/Government Affairs, Atlantis; Joy Jibrilu, CEO, Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board; Kerry Fountain, Executive Director, Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board; and other industry partners, stakeholders, and other government officials.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper applauded the efforts of industry stakeholders and partners in the upsurge in tourism numbers, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He made the acknowledgement during a Reception in appreciation for their support throughout the past year. The event was held at the Nexus Club, Baha Mar on Monday, January 30, 2023. A similar event was held in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

The reception came on the heels of the minister’s announcement that visitor arrivals to The Bahamas eclipsed seven million in 2022, signaling a return to pre-pandemic tourism numbers. In total 7,000,706 visitors came to The Bahamas in 2022.

“It is largely because of relationships we have built with partners and stakeholders like you that we have seen the success we have in bouncing back from the pandemic,” the minister said.

He added, “And there is simply no way that the Ministry of Tourism can go along day after day without acknowledging the tremendous partnerships that make it possible for the Islands of The Bahamas to have a vibrant tourism industry.”

The minister reported that air arrivals in September-December 2022 surpassed historic 2019 levels. Overall cruise arrivals returned to 2019 pre-pandemic levels reaching 5.4 million.  Cruise arrivals July-December 2022 surpassed 2019 level, and December 2022 cruise arrivals exceeded an historic 735,000 passengers that month.

“This is all fantastic news. Make no mistake about it. But I’ll tell you better news. We plan to beat those numbers this year,” the minister confidently said.

He also touted trade shows that partners are accustomed to being a major part of — announcing from March to October the ministry is committed to Berlin; Arabian Travel Market; the Caribbean Marketplace; IMEX – Frankfurt, America; and more.

“We plan to go into all these united with you because we can accomplish so much more when we combine our resources and efforts,” the minister said.
He also revealed shifts in responsibilities of the ministry’s executives abroad, aimed at having an additional impact on Bahamas tourism.

“More offerings means more linkages and more empowerment for The Bahamas,” the minister said. “And although we all make this look easy, we know that it takes an incredible amount of work to pull it all together.”

He concluded, “We can see that the eyes of the world are turning toward The Bahamas more and more and new opportunities are opening up for us all. I encourage you all to maintain focus and work even harder so that we can achieve limits yet unseen.”

By LINDSAY THOMPSON/Bahamas Information Services

More photo highlights below:

Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper brought remarks at the MOTIA reception for its Partners and Stakeholders at Nexus Club, Baha Mar, January 30, 2023.

Hon. Chester Cooper is pictured with Graeme Davis, President, Baha Mar; and Audrey Oswell, President and Managing Director, Atlantis.