Find Tourism and Travel partners in Bahamas, The
Commonly labelled as one of the most popular destinations among the Caribbean islands, the tourist industry is a backbone of the economy of The Bahamas. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) tourism accounted for BSD3,514.0m of the economy in 2011, and supported 90,500 jobs, including those indirectly supported, representing 53.8% of total employment. This finds it placed 9th in the world (out of 181 countries) in terms of the relative contribution of the tourism industry to the economy, with a 46.2% share of GDP, far above the world average of 14% (WTTC 2011). In 2010 the country saw 1,370,000 tourist visitors, with the source market dominated by the United States, accounting for 79% of arrivals. The number of Canadians visiting the islands reached their highest ever recorded number in 2010, reaching 9% share of visitors. The islands also continue to see a great number of cruise passenger arrivals, 3,803,122 in 2010. In 2011 visitor exports generated BSD2,213.2m, constituting 64.5% of total exports. The country’s tourism promotion, led by the Ministry of Tourism, sees Bahamas Tourist Offices located throughout the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.
Tourism in The Bahamas has traditionally been centred on its beautiful beaches. Additionally, a great number of water sports are available, including boating, sailing, diving, snorkelling, fishing and kayaking. The islands are considered a very family-friendly tourist destination, with numerous activities and family-centred resorts and hotels. The landscape and wildlife of the tropical archipelago offer many opportunities for hiking and bird watching. There has also been a recent development in the health and well-being sector of the industry, with a growing number of spas and wellness activities, such as pilates and yoga. The islands continue to expand within the wedding and honeymoon industry. Target markets that the Ministry of Tourism are keen to exploit are culinary tourism and sports tourism. The islands offer modern sporting facilities, many of which are certified and meet Olympic standards, providing great potential for both sporting events and conferences.
The country has seen a growth in the number of tourists arriving on private flights. In 2010, the United States amended its Pre-Clearance Act to allow private planes to clear in Grand Bahama before arriving at their final destination of the US, which will continue to increase tourist numbers.
In 2011 investment in the travel and tourism industry was BSD379.2mn, constituting 16.1% of total investment. This was expected to rise by 2.1% in 2012, and then continue to grow by 3.0% pa over the following ten years, rising to BSD518.0mn in 2022.