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Bahamas Moves Closer to Full Reopening for Tourism

TravelPulse logo TravelPulse 9/8/2020 Brian Major
a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a body of water: Bahamas Airport Expansion Planned as Arrivals Soar © Brian Major Bahamas Airport Expansion Planned as Arrivals Soar

Beginning October 15, The Bahamas will reopen the territory’s beaches and major hotels as the archipelago enters Phase 3 of its Tourism Readiness & Recovery Plan, said Dionisio D’Aguilar, the country’s Minister of Tourism & Aviation, in a Monday address.

Calling the plan a “strategic, phased reopening strategy to ensure a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination for both visitors and residents to enjoy,” D’Aguilar said beaches and major hotels will reopen on all islands with Phase 3’s launch.

Hotel guests will be subject to a 14-day “Vacation-In-Place” policy under which they will have access to amenities including hotel spas, gyms, and bars.

Bahamas attractions, excursions and tours will commence on November 1 under Phase 3, D’Aguilar said.

Re-launching tourism activity is crucial to the country’s economy, said D’Aguilar, as international visitors contribute more than 50 percent of the nation’s GDP and 60 percent of its national employment.

He called the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on global tourism as “unprecedented” adding, “The Bahamas’ economy has felt the impact, particularly following 2019’s record-breaking tourism numbers, where the country welcomed 7.2 million visitors.”

The Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is currently “working with airline partners to secure direct airlift from key markets where the curve has been flattened,” D’Aguilar said.

The agency is also “ prepared to commence an agile marketing campaign, [featuring] authentic storytelling and aggressive PR and sales strategies” tied to “current travel trends, [including] the preference for vacations closer to home [and] options that afford seclusion and outdoor pursuits.”

The “safe” completion of Phase 3 will lead to recommendations from the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, the Ministry of Health and other government agencies regarding “an appropriate date to enter Phase 4,” which will include “the reopening of vendors, select attractions, casinos, cruises and ferries,” D’Aguilar said.

The Bahamas’ entry protocols as of September require visitors to obtain an approved Bahamas Health Visa and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than five days prior to arrival. Children under age 10 are not required to provide test data.

The 14-day Vacation-In-Place policy applies to guests in hotels, private clubs and/or boats, or rented accommodations including home-stay options.


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