Tourists in Port Lucaya
FREEPORT - Despite a significant decrease in air arrivals in 2010, Grand Bahama's tourism industry has performed "fairly well," according to officials.
Tourism officials reported that the drop-off in air arrivals had a significant impact on the overall tourism figures for Grand Bahama, which fell short of the one million visitor mark.
However, Tourism Director General David Johnson noted that the increase in cruise arrivals and cruise stop-over arrivals has made up for the loss in air arrivals.
"Given the state of the industry overall, I can say that Grand Bahama had a fair performance," he reported to the media.
"We are not celebrating profits and any strong growth, but Grand Bahama has survived and been able to hold its own by holding the industry at current levels under very difficult circumstances."
The tourism executive said that demand drives airlifts, and the Grand Bahama tourism product has not been competitive enough to create a turnaround.
Mr Johnson told ZNS radio that his ministry is now seeking to come up with a strategy to differentiate Grand Bahama from other islands in the Bahamas by marketing it as an "all inclusive" destination.
"The all inclusive concept seems to be thriving. It is one area we should continue to explore.
"If you can imagine an all inclusive offer in Grand Bahama where (persons) are not confined to one hotel as in Jamaica and other places, and are able to roam between 10 to 20 restaurants at various properties and facilities through the island, that, I think, would be a strong differentiation for Grand Bahama.
"And all of the properties would benefit tremendously from it if they can execute it well enough.
"We are resuming our efforts to come up with a very effective execution of that strategy, that is the most immediate task we are taking on for 2011," he said.