Monthly Economic and Financial Developments (MEFD) September 2022
Published: Monday October 31st, 2022
Domestic Economic Developments
During the month of September, the domestic economy sustained its recovery momentum from the adverse impact of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Alongside healthy foreign investments flows, tourism remained buoyed by further rebound in the high value-added air segment and more than recovered sea visitors. Outcomes reflect further relaxation of pandemic restrictions and release of pent-up demand for travel in the key source market. In monetary developments, bank liquidity contracted during the review month, as the growth in domestic credit contrasted with the falloff in the deposit base. Against this backdrop, external reserves declined, owing primarily to seasonal net foreign currency outflows through the public and private sectors.
Tourism metrics indicated that the sector’s monthly output maintained its growth trajectory in September, with buoyant gains in both the high value-added air component and the sea segment. In particular, COVID-19 conditions posed decreasing restrictions.
Official data provided by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) revealed that total visitor arrivals by first port of entry increased to 616,091 in August, from 189,966 visitors in the comparative period of 2021. Contributing this outturn, sea traffic expanded to 500,131, from 103,781 visitors in the prior year. Further, air traffic advanced to 115,960 from 86,185 in the preceding year—representing 88.4% of the volumes recorded in 2019.
A breakdown by major port of entry showed that total arrivals to New Providence more than doubled to 289,664 visitors in August, from 112,206 in the corresponding period of 2021. Supporting this outcome, both the air and sea segments grew to 94,154 and 195,510 visitors, respectively. Likewise, traffic to the Family Islands advanced to 285,209 from 66,380 a year earlier, owing to gains in the air and sea components, of 18,631 and 266,578, respectively. In addition, foreign arrivals to Grand Bahama more than tripled to 41,218 from 11,380 in the prior year, as respective air and sea passengers measured 3,175 and 38,043.
On a year-to-date basis, total arrivals rebounded to 4,292,783 compared to 787,199 in the corresponding 2021 period, when a 54.6% reduction was registered. Underlying this outturn, the air segment expanded to 1,008,698 passengers, relative to the 56.8% boost in the previous year, underpinned by gains in all major markets. Further, sea arrivals rose to 3,284,085 visitors, following a decrease of 84.7% in 2021.
The most recent data provided by the Nassau Airport Development Company Limited (NAD) revealed that for the month of September, total departures—net of domestic passengers—grew to 74,094 from 47,171 in the corresponding month of 2021. Specifically, U.S. departures rose to 62,990 from 41,057 in the previous year, while non-U.S. departures advanced to 11,104, vis-à-vis 6,114 in the preceding year. On a year-to-date basis, total outbound traffic expanded to 982,293 from 522,488 passengers in the prior year, following a 35.4% increase a year earlier. Supporting this outturn, U.S. departures recovered to 850,517 visitors, extending the 53.0% growth in the corresponding period in 2021. Likewise, non-U.S. departures accelerated to 131,776, a shift from a 54.2% falloff during the same period last year.
In the short-term vacation rental market, data provided by AirDNA for September mirrored the positive trends. Particularly, total room nights sold grew to 98,238 from 62,339 in the corresponding 2021 period. Underlying this outturn, the occupancy rates for both entire place and hotel comparable listings firmed to 47.6% and 47.8%, respectively, relative to 43.4% and 42.4% a year earlier. Further, price indicators strengthened year-over-year, as the average daily room rate (ADR) for entire place grew by 8.5% to $496.08 and hotel comparable listings, by 1.8% to $179.34.
On a year-to-date basis, vacation rental room nights sold advanced by 52.0%, underpinned by gains in both hotel comparable bookings (62.5%) and entire place bookings (50.8%). Likewise, occupancy levels for entire place listing and hotel comparable listings increased by 14.3% and by 16.5%, respectively. Further, ADR for the respective hotel comparable and entire place listings improved by 7.7% and by 9.8%.
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