The Islands Of The Bahamas are enjoying a cheerful holiday season as the destination ends the year on a high note with record tourism arrivals. The Bahamas has seen an over 10 percent increase in international arrivals through the end of 2018 aided by new and revitalized hotel product, new direct airlift from major hubs and exciting new experiences for travelers – and, there’s no slowing down this month. Travelers visiting in December can expect major end of year cultural celebrations, hot deals for last minute travel and, of course, balmy year-round temperatures. 

NEWS AND EVENTS 

International Arrivals Increased in 2018 –The October Forward Keys survey, which tracks inbound visitor data, reported that international arrivals have increased by 13 percent in October year-over-year, while international air capacity grew by nearly 16 percent in October. Scheduled direct flights are set to increase more than 15 percent from November to January, which can be attributed in part to new and expanded service from Delta, American Airlines, Bahamasair and Silver Airways in key markets including New York, Miami, Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston and Chicago. Additionally, Expedia reported a greater than 30 percent increase in room night sales and greater than 25 percent increase in hotel gross bookings year-over-year.

Symphony of the Seas Stops in Nassau During Inaugural Voyage –Royal Caribbean International’s “newly minted” Symphony of the Seas completed its inaugural voyage to The Bahamas on Nov. 14, 2018 with a call on the Port of Nassau. Senior government officials, led by Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and tourism industry stakeholders and partners were among those present to welcome the new cruise ship. In 2017, RCI vessels and others brought 4.6 million guests to the country’s shores, a figure that represents 70 percent of total visitor count. 

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Invitations – Florida International University (FIU) Panthers will represent Conference USA and University of Toledo Rockets will represent the Mid-American Conference as both institutions accepted bids to the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, set for Friday, Dec. 21 in Nassau’s Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. The Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be played at 12:30 p.m. ET, and the contest will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Radio Network. For more information on the 2018 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, visit MakersWantedBahamasBowl.com

PROMOTIONS AND OFFERS

For a complete, up-to-date listing of deals and packages for The Bahamas, visit www.bahamas.com/deals-packages.   

Day Trip To Exuma’s Swimming Pigs– Take flight for a one-of-a-kind adventure on Staniel Air’s Bahamas Day Tripto Staniel Cay in The Exumas. Staniel Air is currently offering 20 percent off this all day excursion, departing from Fort Lauderdale Executive airport. 

Silver Airways DecemberFlight Deals–Book a flight to Governor’s Harbour Airport, Eleuthera and save 15 percent on a one-way ticket for travel now through Dec. 31.

Bimini Boat Show Special–Receive 10 percent off room and dock when you book your stay at Bimini Big Game Club by Jan. 31, 2019. Offer valid for travel now through May 26, 2019.     

Atlantis Paradise Island Hotel Deals –Atlantis is reminding travelers that it’s always warm in paradise with unbeatable seasonal packages and deals. 

  • The Cove Suite Offer–Save up to50 percent on nightly rates when you book a sapphire or azure suite for travel through Dec. 20, 2018. Offer includes daily breakfast for two guests, special rate for Dolphin Cay Dip ‘N Discover interaction and more. 
  • Ultimate Golf Package–Now through Dec. 20, 2018, Atlantis is offering a special golf rate of $175 per round after 1:00 p.m., 15 percent discount in the Pro Shop plus 50 percent off club rentals when you book with an overnight stay.

Baha Mar Casino and Hotel Deals – Baha Mar hotels, including Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood, are incentivizing travelers to upgrade their beach vacation with a variety of new hotel offerings and value-driven packages.

  • Baha Mar Winter Blues Deals–Book five consecutive nights at any of Baha Mar’s three iconic hotels and receive the sixth night free. For terms and conditions, differ for each hotel. For further details, visit bahamar.com/offers/
  • SLS Baha Mar Sisterhood’s Latest Sin– Grab your closest friends and book your next stay at SLS Baha Mar. This package includes a complimentary bottle of rosé sparkling wine in room on arrival, a $500 credit at Privilege day club and $500 credit in Bond nightclub with champagne toasts. Offer valid now using promo code “PKGGIRL”.
  • SLS Baha Mar Stay Local Sweetie–SLS Baha Mar extends a big welcome to all Bahamian residents with this special offer from $179 per night. Live like a king and enjoy complimentary valet parking, upgrade on arrival upon availability and 20 percent off all your food and beverage at SBE restaurants and bars during your stay. Valid Bahamian ID must be presented on arrival.

FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

Stay up-to-date with the latest events and happenings in The Bahamas: www.bahamas.com/events

Junkanoo Parades: Nassau & Paradise Island (December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2019) –Celebrate Boxing Day and New Year’s Bahamian style at Junkanoo, the National Festival of The Bahamas, as dance troops and performers parade down Bay Street in downtown Nassau with elaborate costumes, drums, horns, bells and whistles. Boxing Day Junkanoo starts at 10:00 p.m. on December 25, 2018 and New Year's Day Junkanoo starts at 2:00 a.m. www.bahamas.com/event/new-years-day-junkanoo-parade-nassau-paradise-island

New Year’s Regatta at Staniel Cay (January 1, 2019) – The picturesqueStaniel Cay in Exuma will celebrate the New Year with traditional festivities, as well as, the sailing of native sloops in a regatta. Residents and visitors alike are invited to ring in 2019 with a cruise along Exuma’s crystal clear waters. www.bahamas.com/event/staniel-cay-cruising-regatta

Marathon Bahamas (January 19-20, 2019) – A race worth traveling for, the annual running of the marathon, half marathon and relay includes an oceanfront start and finish, flat course and the 26.2 mile race is a Boston Marathon Qualifier. www.marathonbahamas.com/

PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty, General Manager, Global Communications | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation | ajohnson@bahamas.com

Weber Shandwick, Public Relations | Bahamas@webershandwick.com