Tourism Aims For More Family Island Airlift

Negotiations are underway to get even more airlift into the Family Islands, Guardian Business has learned, with recent discussions held between Tourism and Continental Airlines on getting direct airlift into that troubled market.

The move would make way for direct airlift into South Andros, according to the President of the South Andros Chamber of Commerce Edmund Rahming.

His disclosure follows a meeting abroad last week between the Minister of Tourism and American Airlines executives in an effort to get more flights into the Family Islands.

"We're talking about quite a number of islands," Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace said at Andros' first Business Outlook conference last week. "This is a regular but important trip with American to talk about additional flights to various points within The Bahamas."

It's important, he said, in terms of getting the cost of travel to the Family Islands lowered to the point where there is growth in visitor arrivals.

He also said it was important for The Bahamas to increase airlift into Nassau, so that the growing number of domestic airlines could look forward to shuttling visitors from the capital onto the Family Islands they service.

"What has to happened is [visitors need] to have easy connection when they land in Nassau to where they want to go," Vanderpool-Wallace said last week.

His comments follow the recent launch of the Tourism Ministry's 'fly free' program to participating Family Island hotels from Nassau. The launch is expected to significantly boost domestic tourism, according to Ministry of Tourism officials.

Vanderpool-Wallace said he hoped the program would reap the same success as the previously launched "Companion-Fly-Free" promotion, which he said yielded 30,000 bookings between January to March of this year. The program, which ended in March, allowed a visitor to book one ticket and get a second free.

Source: The Nassau Guardian
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 April 2010 07:30