THE BAHAMAS spent more and stayed longer in 2005 than in
2004, bringing in a record nearly $2 billion in tourism revenue to
the islands. According to estimates from the Bahamas Ministry of
Tourism, based on information provided by the Dept. of Immigration
and results of exit surveys, the ministry was able to compile the
average visitor spending for the year. For the year, stopover
visitors totaled 1.6 million, a 2.6% increase, and spent an average
of $1,000 for each stay. Meanwhile, cruise passengers, who numbered
more than 3 million in 2005, a 0.3% decrease, spent an average of
$65 per passenger per visit. A further breakdown of visitor
spending found that in the first six months of 2005, visitors
spent, on average, $1,185 each, which represented $105 per person
more than in 2004, or 9.7% more per visitor. While exact figures
for the July-through-December 2005 period are not final, officials
conservatively estimated that visitors spent at least the same
amount as they did in 2004. Visitor spending for all of 2005 is
forecast to be $1.841 billion, compared with $1.693 billion in
2004. Final tourism figures will be released in April, as will
first-quarter visitor numbers for 2006.
" Now included in
the daily rates at Cap Juluca in Anguilla are the services of villa
managers for guests staying in the resort's 18 villas. Also in the
rates are butler services for guests staying in the private pool
suites and pool villas and full breakfast at George's restaurant.
Rates through Dec. 15 range from $380 to $1,520 for a one-bedroom
guest room or suite, depending on the time of year. Cap Juluca also
expanded its gym/cardio center and offers lunch delivery to guests
on the beach by a beach attendant. For details, visit www.capjuluca.com.
" The first
over-water spa in the Bahamas has opened at Kamalame Cay, a
19-room, 96-acre private island off Andros Island in the Out
Islands. The 2,000-square-foot spa is in a two-story facility at
the end of the 200-foot-long Kamalame Pier; its five treatment
rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the views and
sounds of the water below. Resort rates through May range from $740
for a cottage room to $4,800 for a four-bedroom villa; rates cover
accommodations, all meals, house wines and liquors, use of
snorkeling equipment, sea kayaks, and tennis. The resort is a
three-minute ferry ride from the pickup point on Andros, which is a
20-minute drive from the airport. For details, visit www.kamalame.com.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC tourist card has a new, smaller look
and apparently is more durable than the old cards, which were
printed on paper. The new credit card-sized tourist cards, which
can be purchased only upon arrival in the DR, continue to cost $10
but now have an electronic chip that is activated when the card is
swiped at the airport. A new card must be purchased each time a
visitor enters the country.
Sylvester-Gairy was appointed director of the Grenada Board of
Tourism by tourism minister Brenda Hood. Gairy, who will remain in
her position as chairman of the Grenada Carnival Committee, earlier
served on the foreign service staff at the Grenada U.N.
" Ken Dittrich was
named managing director of Paradisus Puerto Rico in Rio Grande
outside of San Juan, the destination's only all-inclusive resort,
managed by Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts. Dittrich formerly held
the same post at Paradisus Riviera Cancun.