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News : Ministry of Tourism Updates Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014 - 4:46:38 PM


Grand Bahama Island Welcomes Vacation Express Summer Flights
By Brooke Sherman, GBMOT
May 2, 2014 - 2:44:35 PM

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Photos: David Mackey, TheBahamasWeekly.com

GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND- Accelerating the wheels of revitalization, Vacation Express and Bahamasair in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Sector introduces weekly 737-400 non-stop Jet service from 8 U.S. cities for summer 2014. Commencing May 1st through October 31st, 2014 this summer program will fuel the economic engine of Grand Bahama once more, welcoming the return of major gateways in the New York tri-state and Washington DC areas with flights from Newark, NJ; Baltimore, MD and Richmond, VA. Other gateways will include Birmingham, AL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Memphis, TN and Raleigh/Durham, NC. Grand Bahama is re-entering these markets with additional air-inclusive package options, featuring the recently opened 4-Star All-Inclusive Memories Grand Bahama Beach Resort.

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Vacation Express operates extensive air inclusive programs to popular resort destinations in the Bahamas and Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica from most U.S. Cities. For this new service offering, Vacation Express via Bahamasair flight services will offer to travelers, a weeklong vacation package and all-inclusive deals entailing; non-stop flights, round trip airport transfers, accommodations and meals. Travelers will have access to dedicated on island representative.

The introduction of this programme increases the average length of stay for the destination, as well as an increase in visitor spend on tour excursions, etc. The Vacation Express programme also aids the Ministry of Tourism’s goal of achieving the widest possible distribution of the benefits of Tourism; as tour operators, tour guides, attraction owners, craft persons, conch shacks and other businesses from the East End to West End are poised to begin selling their products and services to these adventuresome visitors.

Total incremental seats to the destination from the USA via the Vacation Express/Bahamasair program is 66,000 and combined with 34,000 from Canada for a total of 101,000 seats. This translates a projected increase of 71,000 passengers, representing 460,450 visitor nights overall. Tourism earnings from this new traffic should amount to $57 million.

Commencing with the arrival of the Baltimore flight on Thursday, May 1st, and Newark on Friday, May 2nd, the other six gateways are schedule as follows:

      • Birmingham,AL – BHM, May 3rd, - August 6th,
      • Richmond,VA - RIC, May 4th, - August 7th,
      • Columbus,OH – CMH, May 5th, - August 8th,
      • Memphis,TN – MEM, August 11th, - October 25th,
      • Raleigh/Durham, NC – RDU, August 12th, - October 26th,
      • Cincinnati, OH – CVG, August 13th, - October 27th,

Vacation Express is part of family-owned and operated, Toronto-based Sunwing Travel Group Inc., Canada's leading vertically integrated leisure travel company, and has sold well over 2 million vacation packages to its exotic destinations.

See MORE PHOTOS of the inaugural flight arrival on Facebook.


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