With increases in occupancy and revenue, 2014 proved to be a "watershed year" for the Grand Lucayan resort on Grand Bahama Island, according to Thomas Anderson, chief marketing officer.
The island's largest resort, with 542 guestrooms and suites, the Grand Lucayan "saw a 10% increase in demand compared to 2013, and we are optimistic that 2015 will be bigger and better for the resort," he said.
A 35% increase in airlift contributed to the banner year, said Anderson, who attributed the upswing to charters from Sunwing (serving Canada), Bahamas Air and Vacation Express (with several U.S. gateways) last summer and fall. Additional connectivity from other carriers is under discussion, he said.
While acknowledging that the opening of the Baha Mar complex in Nassau on March 27 "will have an effect on the entire Caribbean," Anderson said that "we do not consider Baha Mar as our competition."
"Travelers seeking an authentic Bahamian experience where they can reconnect and recharge come to the Grand Lucayan," he said. "Travelers seeking a Las Vegas-style experience in the Bahamas will venture elsewhere."
Grand Lucayan offers its guests a seven-acre beach, two 18-hole golf courses, a casino, nine restaurants, the Senses Spa and fitness center, four pools, kids' activities and nearby excursions to Port Lucaya Marketplace, dive and dolphin experiences at the Underwater Explorers Society in the Port Lucaya Marina across from the resort and walking trails through Lucayan National Park.
The family market represents more than 25% of the resort's year-round business, with the bulk of the bookings in the summer.
The resort's guestrooms were upgraded in 2014 with new carpets and improved furnishings. This year all bedding will be replaced, the top two floors will be upgraded to club floors with a Lucayan Lounge facility with added concierge assistance and culinary offerings, according to Anderson.
One-third of the resort's business is through agents, tour operators and OTAs.
"We appreciate how travel agents understand the nuances of Grand Lucayan and the destination itself," Anderson said.
The resort offers a Grand Lucayan Ambassador Agent program upon completion of its online certification program; see www.glamagents.com.