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2004-01-23 17:47:26

Nassau Hotels See Room Rate & Occupancy Rise

Major New Providence hotels achieved a 59.9% occupancy level in December, a 4.9% improvement upon 2002, with the average room rate up by $5.50 in comparison to the year-before period.

Tourism statistics show that, for December, the Bahamas received 419,348 arrivals, an 11.3 per cent increase over 2002 levels, which stood at 376,740. Breaking that figure down, less than half the total amount, 120,234, arrived in the Bahamas by air, with cruise ship arrivals at 299,114, an increase of 11.9 per cent over 2002.

The December figures bring the total number of arrivals for the year to 4,594,042, a 4.3 per cent increase over 2002 numbers.

New Providence saw a slight increase, 9.9 per cent, in total visitor arrivals for December, at 237,747. Although air arrivals accounted for less than a third of total arrivals to New Providence, at 78,036, it was still an increase of 5.2 per cent over 2002 levels. Sea arrivals posted a 12.4 increase over he previous year for the same period to stand at 159,711.

Grand Bahama saw significant increases in both air and sea arrivals, with the total for December at 59,494, compared to 45,388 over 2002 levels. Air arrivals improved by 22.1 per cent over 2002 figures to stand at 24,958. Sea arrivals continued to soar, with 34,536 visitors, compared to 24,942 in December 2002.

The Family Islands also experienced steady growth, with the region totalling 122,107 visitors. A tiny percentage of that figure - 14.1 per cent or 17,240 - arrived by air. Sea arrivals stood at 104,867, which was a 4.7 jump over 2002 figures.

The top destinations in the Family Islands for December for air arrivals were Marsh Harbour, Abaco, with 4,947 arrivals; North Eleuthera, with 2,411; Treasure Cay, Abaco, with 2,143; and San Salvador at 1,593.

For November, visitor arrivals for the Bahamas totaled 393,235, a 10.6 per cent increase over 2002 levels, which stood at 355,474. Air arrivals stood at 105,145, with sea arrivals at 288,090 for the period.

New Providence arrivals for the same period were 227,840, with sea arrivals up 17.1 per cent to 158,549. Air arrivals, however, fell by 5 per cent to 69,291, when compared to 2002 levels, which stood at 72,968.

In Grand Bahama, air arrivals - at 22,547 - were up 18.8 per cent over 2002 levels. Sea arrivals for the period stood at 29,671, for a total visitor arrival at 52,218.

The Family Islands saw a substantial boost to air arrivals, with some 13,307 - almost 5,000 more visitors than were received in October, which saw 8,571 arrivals. Sea arrivals stood at 99,870 for a total of 113,177 for November.

By Yolanda Deleveaux, The Tribune 

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