The Bahamas will record a 3 to 4 percent increase in tourist arrivals for all of 2011 despite a 4.4 percent decline in the first four months of the year, said Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, the Bahamas’ minister of tourism. Cold weather in the U.S. negatively impacted travel to the region, he said, leading to a “rough start,” however arrival figures have since rebounded strongly, said Vanderpool-Wallace, in an interview in the Bahamas Tribune.
“What we have been doing is recovering from the steep fall-off in January,” said Vanderpool-Wallace. “We’ve been coming back up every single month after that. From what we see in the future numbers, we are headed in the right direction.”
Air arrivals declined by 11.4 percent for January, but by February and March the declines were down to 3.9 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, said Vanderpool-Wallace. The Bahamas’ cruise business has been “spectacular,” he said, with 2011 year-to-date arrivals up 16.9 percent, to 1.6 million visitor arrivals.