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Tourism uptick “encouraging” but revival no slam dunk, says Sands

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) President Robert “Sandy” Sands yesterday noted that while the uptick in tourism arrivals was “encouraging”, the industry’s tourism sector’s revival was “no slam dunk”.

Sands told Eyewitness News: “I think the results to date are very encouraging. There is no question that momentum and interest in travel is increasing, certainly to The Bahamas.

“All of this is against the backdrop that we are still not out of the woods with regards to COVID-19. People must still adhere to the protocols and follow the various guidelines put in place because this can change in a heartbeat.

“The level of vaccinations taking place are (sic) very encouraging, both internationally and in The Bahamas as well.”

Sands added: “I think these are all very positive signs. It’s a work in progress. It’s going in the right direction but let’s not call it a slam dunk as yet.

“Let’s take it step by step and month by month. Let’s hope that arrivals continue to improve on a monthly basis.”

According to Sands, based on industry reports, business over the Easter holiday weekend was “very encouraging”.

Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar recently revealed that 60,000 non-residents bought travel health visas to visit the country in March, which was double the number that did so in December 2020.

While the figure represents just over a 90 percent decline when compared to 2019 pre-pandemic numbers for the same period, D’Aguilar said it represents an uptick for the industry that has been hit hard by the effects of the pandemic.

The Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD) last week noted that March 2021 has been the most successful month for passenger arrivals since the COVID-19 pandemic commenced.

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