Foreign arrivals fell nearly 80% in March, reports CBOB – Eye Witness News


“Until now, only the stopover market has benefited from the revival of tourism”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Total foreign arrivals fell nearly 80% in March, extending the nearly 60% drop over the same period last year, the Central Bank reported.

According to the Central Bank’s Monthly Economic and Financial Developments Report for March, total foreign arrivals fell 79.2% in that month, extending the 59.7% drop in the same period l last year, when the effect of the virus was only partially felt during the month.

“Underlying this development, air arrivals fell by 25.5%, although after a loss of 62.5% in 2020, reflecting the reopening of international borders – but with health precautions in place,” said noted the regulator.

“However, in the absence of cruise traffic, the dominant maritime segment contracted by 97.2% and extended the decline to 58.6% in 2020.”

The Central Bank noted that in the three months leading up to March, total arrivals fell 93.2 percent, extending the 14.7 percent reduction recorded last year.

“The absence of cruise lines contributed to this result, which eliminated virtually all passengers from the sea, against a drop of 10.5% last year,” he noted.

“Likewise, air arrivals contracted by 70.4%, compared to 28% in 2020.”

Data from the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) showed that total departures – net of domestic passengers – fell 64.5%, extending the 45.8% drop from the previous period. The dominant US component fell 59.2%, continuing the decline of 46.5% over the same period last year. In the first quarter, outbound traffic contracted by 80.7%, exceeding the 13.8% drop recorded the previous year.

Central Bank Governor John Rolle noted: “Despite a gradual reopening of tourism, the sector remained well below 2020 performance levels. Relatively, the resumption of onshore activities was faster for Family Islands as for New Providence and Grand Bahama; while domestic tourism has provided healthy support to the vacation rental market. “

He added: “So far, only the stopover market has benefited from the restart. Cruise activity is not expected to resume until after portering arrangements begin from the interior of the Bahamas in the summer months – which could benefit from a significantly vaccinated U.S. population and pent-up travel demand . “

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