Cruise and Beach Destinations
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Bahamas Tourism Statistics

Bahamas tourism statistics

The Bahama islands wear the crown for the most cruise arrivals in the Caribbean region, even though they aren’t technically part of the Caribbean.

The islands, which are dominated by Nassau and Grand Bahama, like just north of the Caribbean Sea. But they often are included as a port of call for many Caribbean cruises.

Sometimes they are the only port of call for certain cruises, especially shorter ones embarking from the Florida coast or other ports along the U.S. eastern seaboard.

More than 4.8 million cruise visitors arrived in the Bahamas in 2014, which was a 2 percent increase over the previous year, according to tourism statistics from the Caribbean Travel Organization.

It far exceeded the second place destination of Cozumel, Mexico, which had about 3.4 million cruise visitors last year.

Stopover Tourism Statistics

The Bahamas are more than three times more popular with cruise visitors than stopover visitors.

The islands had about 1.4 million “stopover” visitors in 2013. Stopover visitors are people who stay at least one night and often seven or more.

The number of stopovers increased about 4 percent over the previous year with a slightly larger increase in the winter than the summer.

It ranks fifth among the most popular stopover destinations after Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

About 1.1 million stopover visitors came from the U.S. followed by 144,000 from Canada, about 83,000 from Europe and 93,000 from other countries and regions.

Statistics by Month

The Bahamas follow a pattern seen among other Caribbean destinations that experience the impact of the annual hurricane season that runs from June through November.

The least popular month of the year is September, followed by October and November. September is typically the most active month of the hurricane season with the most storms and hurricanes. October is the second most active.

Another unpopular month is January, which has about the same number of visitors as November. December actually sees an increase over the other two.

The month with the highest stopover visitors is March. Despite the cooler weather in the Bahamas during the early spring, the islands are popular among golfers.
The next month with the most visitors is July, the warmest time of the year, followed by June and April.

2013 Bahamas Tourism

Stopover tourism declined 4 percent in 2013 versus the previous year while cruise arrivals increased by more than 6 percent.

March was again the month with the highest number of tourists followed by July and June. September and October had the lowest level of tourism.

The statistics by month:

  • January - 88,601
  • February - 105,744
  • March - 165,026
  • April - 121,126
  • May - 123,900
  • June - 143,192
  • July - 146,280
  • August - 126,927
  • September - 56,583
  • October - 72,727
  • November - 94,975
  • December - 118,406

The number of visitors from the U.S. and Canada both declined by 5 percent or more while visitors from Europe and other countries increased by 2.4 percent and 3.8 percent respectively.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
June 19, 2015

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