Tourism Minister To Frozen Canadians: “The Bahamas Is Hot!”

with Kerry Sharpe

Tina poses with the Bahamian dancers

Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, deputy director general for The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, speaks during the travel industry luncheon.

Dionisio D’Aguilar, Minister of Tourism and Aviation for The Bahamas, shares the stage with Joy Jibrilu, director general for the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, as they provide an update on arrivals and what’s new in The Bahamas.

Members of the Bahamas tourism office pose with the group from ACV.

Complete with brightly costumed dancers and branded ice sculptures on every table, the Bahamas brought the sunshine to Toronto on 22FEB… and topped it with a declaration from tourism minister Dionisio D’Aguilar: “The Bahamas is hot right now!”

While giving an update on tourism numbers to The Bahamas, D’Aguilar spoke about a slow first three quarters in 2017 but as the year progressed, those numbers grew, and the destination “ended the year on a high, with December air arrivals from Canada up a whopping 24.7%.”

Projections for 2018 are similarly optimistic, with early numbers trending steadily upwards. “I am delighted to report that the Bahamas is expecting an extremely robust 2018,” said D’Aguilar, pointing to key source markets like Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, which are already showing increases of more than 20% year-over-year.   

D’Aguilar attributed the upward trend to the introduction of new hotel choices in Nassau, such as the Grand Hyatt, the SLS and Rosewood (set for a spring opening) – all a part of the sprawling Baha Mar complex – as well as the Four Seasons. D’Aguilar was also keen to point out that there are more budget-friendly new options too, including the Holiday Inn Express and Courtyard by Marriott. 

The minister also highlighted enhancements and renovations at such properties as the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort, the Riu Palace Paradise Island (now an adults-only property), the Warwick Paradise Island and the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, as well as “the introduction of boutique and experiential hotels in our 14 out-island destinations [that] has caused the travelling public to refocus on the Bahamas with renewed interest.”

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