Tourism Numbers Continue To Rise, New Hotels Are On the Horizon and #NoFilter Experiences Await Travelers in 2018
The Islands Of The Bahamas finished 2017 on a high note with a striking increase in international visitor arrivals and several high honors from top-tier media outlets. In 2018, The Islands Of The Bahamas will welcome new and returning visitors with major hotel developments, events worth traveling for and envy inducing sites and experiences for the ultimate #NoFilter vacation photos. Visiting The Bahamas has never been easier with new air service from Atlanta and Houston to Nassau and a plethora of flights to the smaller “boutique” Out Islands.
INCREASED ARRIVALS TO THE BAHAMAS
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) had a strong fall in spite of weather challenges. October 2017 saw a 31.1% year-over-year increase in international arrivals. The trend continued in an upward direction with an 18.7% year-over-year increase in bookings for November 2017 and double-digit percentage increases in bookings from December 2017 through March of 2018.
MAJOR MEDIA ACCOLADES
The Bahamas has received recognition from numerous top-tier media outlets and international associations alike. These accolades tout The Bahamas as a must visit destination in 2018 with high quality accommodations and top-notch golf facilities. See below for just a few of these honors:
- Condé Nast Traveler named The Bahamas the no. 2 destination on their ‘18 Best Places to Travel in 2018’ list
- Travel + Leisure included The Bahamas in their ‘50 Best Places to Travel in 2018’
- The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has named The Bahamas the Golf Destination of the Year for Latin American & the Caribbean
- The Bahamas officially has the coolest resorts, landing four hotel properties on the United Kingdom Times ‘30 Coolest Caribbean Hotels’ list
With some of the clearest water on earth, The Bahamas is the number one destination in the world for #NoFilter posts. These #NoFilter tags on social media express the heart of The Bahamas experience – striking natural scenery, breathtaking blue water and authentic culture, no special effects needed. In 2018, travelers want to connect with the culture and adventure of a destination in a simple, spontaneous way and The Bahamas deliver this experience every day.
Peace & Plenty Hotel – The iconic hotel on Great Exuma is currently undergoing a renovation after being acquired in 2017 by Miami-based SMS Lodging in partnership with Exuma real estate investors, Steve & Patrick Harrington and Bahamian entrepreneur, Burton Rodgers. The new owners are working on the final phases of the revitalization, which includes a top-to-bottom refresh and complete upgrade to modern conveniences. The resort, centrally located in George Town, features 32 waterfront rooms, a pool, restaurant, two bars, and dock along Elizabeth Harbour. The new Peace & Plenty is expected to open on February 1, 2018. https://www.peaceandplenty.com/
Jack’s Bay – Tiger Wood’s TGR Design is teaming up with Jack’s Bay Developers
to develop a beachfront luxury resort and private club at Rock Sound on Eleuthera island. The first phase of development is currently underway for a Woods-designed 10-hole golf course called “The Playgrounds,” as well as The Pink House Beach Club with a pool restaurant and bar, slated to debut this year. Additional plans are in place for an 18-hole course, and more resort amenities, including oceanfront suites, cottages and villas. https://www.jacksbayclub.com
RIU Palace Paradise Island – After a four-month renovation, RIU reopened its doors at the end of 2017 debuting as an adults only resort. The 379-room property also added an Indian restaurant called Chutney to its restaurant roster. https://www.riu.com/en/hotel/bahamas/paradise-island/index.jsp
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort – Guests of The Cove are thoroughly enjoying the new Sip Sip restaurant, the first outpost of the iconic Harbour Island haunt, and there is more to come in 2018! Restaurant options at The Cove will continue to expand as Celebrity Chef Jose Andres unveils his latest eatery, Fish. Additionally, an exclusive seaplane program aimed at connecting guests with the Out Islands is in development for the new year. The renovations and programming are all part of the resort’s renewed focus on showcasing the best of Bahamian culture, taste, and spirit through food, art and design. www.atlantisbahamas.com
Baha Mar – While the Rosewood hotel is slated to open in spring 2018, the SLS opened in November and joined the Grand Hyatt (April 2017) as the second hotel to open at the Baha Mar megaresort. The upscale property features 300 rooms, including 107 residences, world-class décor and a range of dining and nightlife experiences. The three, uniquely designed hotel brands will share amenities including the Caribbean’s largest casino, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, ESPA flagship 30,000-square-foot spa, the largest convention center in the Caribbean, with more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges. www.bahamar.com
Four Seasons Acquires One&Only Ocean Club – At the end of Nov. 2017, the Four Seasons took over the Kerzner-managed One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island. Along with the management change, the resort has been rebranded as the Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort, Bahamas. The 100-room resort, which opened in 1962, sits on five miles of coastline and features a range of accommodation types. It was last renovated in 2014.
SEASONAL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Marathon Bahamas – A marathon worth traveling for, the annual marathon features 26.2 miles of history, beauty and scenery loaded with miles of ocean views on January 13-14, 2018. www.marathonbahamas.com/marathon
Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic – This official LPGA Tour Tournament will feature the best 108 female golfers in the world competing for $1.4 million in prize money at the Ocean Club Golf Course at the One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island from January 26-29, 2018. Attendance is free. www.puresilkbahamasclassic.com