Ministry of Tourism UpdatesCanada presents tourism boom for BahamasBy Clarence Rolle, MOTFeb 6, 2009 - 6:43:08 AM
The Bahamas is on track for a double digit percentage increase in visitors from Canada for the third consecutive year, a tourism media expert revealed.
Stewart MacPhee, president and CEO of Punch Communications, said verified figures already show that the numbers of visitors to the Bahamas who originate from Canada have increased for the first 11 months of 2008 over 2007. Arrivals from January to November of 2008, are 18.7 percent greater than 2007 figures.
This would mean that the Bahamas would record substantial gains in attracting Canadian visitors in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Punch Communications had been directing the Bahamasâ€™ public relations and advertising affairs in Canada over that period. It is likely that at least 115,000 visitors would be confirmed from Canada when the December arrivals are verified, Mr. MacPhee said.
So far, figures from Ministry of Tourism and Aviation research specialist Gary Young are heading in the direction of strong growth from the Canada market, he said.
We haven't seen the December figures yet, but based on some information that we have and conversations that we had with Gary, we are pleased to say that we are going to hit our target of 115,000 (visitors from Canada), he said.
Statistics chronicle a meteoric rise in the popularity of the Bahamas as a vacation destination for Canadians. In 2005, the Caribbean received 1.6 million visitors from Canada. In 2008, the number rose to 2.2 million - an increase of 37.5 percent. Over the same period, the Bahamas™ arrivals from Canada rose from 75,000 to 115,000 â€“ an increase of 52 percent.
It means that traffic to the Bahamas from Canada is growing at a rate that is 40 percent faster than the market itself,Mr. MacPhee said. So that's all good news. And more good news is that foreign currency receipts grow as well. So what we are looking at from Canada in 2008 alone are foreign currency receipts of $173 million. Those are US dollars. So this is great news.
Mr. MacPhee pointed out that public relations forms the core of Punch Communications marketing and communications efforts for the Bahamas. The public relations efforts have national reach and are sustained throughout the year. Advertising is used to drive sales during the peak selling period of October to March. Internet efforts are now a 52-week commitment.