The Bahamas Continues to Welcome Visitors This Season and Will Offer a Number of Exciting New Developments for Travelers in the New Year
In 2018, The Islands of The Bahamas will welcome new and returning visitors with major hotel developments, new airlift and cruise service and events worth traveling for. Visiting The Bahamas has never been easier with new air service from Atlanta and Houston, and more accommodation options than ever from mega resorts like Atlantis, Paradise Island and Baha Mar. The Bahamas surpassed the 2017 hurricane season without impact to its main islands, and is ready to continue offering travelers experiences that prove why It’s Better in The Bahamas.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS
The Bahamas was fortunate to have avoided impact to the country’s primary tourism product during the 2017 hurricane season, and the islands continue to welcome visitors seeking balmy temperatures and sandy beaches this season. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation attended World Travel Market in London on November 5-7 to spread the word that The Bahamas is open for business and doing all it can to help its neighbors in the region. Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation and Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Chairman Dionisio D’Aguilar addressed media and industry professionals during a special CTO press conference to share important updates on the region. D’Aguilar also spoke exclusively with CNN Correspondent Richard Quest regarding new developments and his goals for the year ahead.
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort – In November a number of new developments and renovations were unveiled at The Cove. The first outpost of the iconic Harbour Island haunt, Sip Sip, was debuted at The Cove’s new, Jeffrey Beers-designed pool and beach. Chef Julie Lightbourn brings her signature “Caribterranean” menu to the restaurant’s first Nassau location. The resort also unveiled newly renovated Coral Towers, featuring new rooms, an updated lobby lounge and an authentic Bahamian ice cream parlor, “Sun & Ice.” Guests of The Cove can expect even more culinary options in 2018 when Atlantis will open Fish, the latest restaurant from Celebrity Chef Jose Andres. 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 – On Nov. 14, SLS Baha Mar 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 Rosewood Baha Mar is slated to open in spring 2018, for a total of three, uniquely designed hotel brands with shared 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 – On Nov. 30, 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.
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 in 2018. Additional plans are in place for an 18-hole course, and more resort amenities, including oceanfront suites, cottages and villas. https://www.jacksbayclub.com
AIRLIFT AND FERRY SERVICE UPDATES
Direct flights from Houston, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Toronto into Nassau operate on regular schedules. Multiple regional carriers operate directly from Miami to Abaco, The Exumas, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama.
New Cruise Ships to Service Grand Bahama Island
By 2018, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) will operate two cruise ships to Grand Bahama, offering enhanced accessibility and convenience for visitors traveling from Miami [ZM(1] to Grand Bahama. The MV Grand Celebration will resume cruises to Grand Bahama on Dec. 23, 2017, and the MV Grand Classica will launch its service in April 2018. The three-year agreement is expected to inject vitality into Grand Bahama’s tourism operations.
Bahamasair Debuts New Direct Flights from Houston – On November 16, Bahamasair launched nonstop airlift from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau, Bahamas. Texas travelers can take advantage of special introductory rates of $444.13 round trip on twice-weekly flights departing IAH every Monday and Thursday. https://www.bahamasair.com
Delta Direct Service to Out Islands – Delta Airlines has announced new direct service from the Atlanta gateway to The Exumas, The Abacos and Eleuthera. The airline launched nonstop service in mid-August to Exuma International Airport (GGT) in Great Exuma and Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH) in Abaco, and will continue to roll out nonstop service across the other Out Islands now through August 2018. www.delta.com
SEASONAL FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
Bahamas International Film Festival – The 14th-annual Bahamas International Film Festival is a unique and intimate film festival taking place in Harbour Island and Nassau, showcasing films from 50 countries around the globe over the course of four days, December 14-17, 2017. www.bintlfilmfest.com
Bahamas Bowl – The fourth Bahamas Bowl will take place in Nassau, Bahamas on Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium between teams from Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference. The game will be televised in the United States on ESPN. Bahamas Bowl is the only collegiate football bowl game played outside the U.S. www.bahamasbowl.com
Holiday Junkanoo Festival – Junkanoo, the National Festival of The Bahamas, is an expression of Bahamian art and culture. Crews parade along Bay Street in downtown Nassau with elaborate costumes, dancing or playing goatskin drums, horns, bells, or whistles, as thousands watch and dance along. Two parades take place during the holiday period, the first on December 26, Boxing Day morning, then again on New Year’s Day morning. www.bahamas.com/activity/junkanoo
Atlantis LIVE concert series – Atlantis Paradise Island Resort is ringing in 2018 with a special New Year’s Eve performance by iconic musician, Sting, as part of the resort’s Atlantis LIVE concert series. The show will take place in Atlantis’ Imperial Ballroom, beginning at 9 p.m., with tickets starting at $225. In addition to Sting, the weekend will also feature a special performance by R&B legends Kool & The Gang on Saturday, December 30, 2017. http://atlantisbahamas.com/nye17
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
RumBahamas – This celebration of rum, food and culture in The Bahamas will showcase rum through food booths, rum tastings, live entertainment, culinary demonstrations and educational sessions. Held at the historic Fort Charlotte in Nassau on February 23-26, 2018, the festival will feature diverse rums from The Bahamas, and the Caribbean. www.festivalrumbahamas.com
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
The Islands of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Weber Shandwick Public Relations: Bahamas@webershandwick.com