Tourism in the Bahamas has received a double boost after news that the Baha Mar Resort mega-project is back in business following new funding from China. Meanwhile airlift to the islands has been boosted to cope with a surge in demand for Sandal’s new Great Exuma resort.
The $2.6 billion project on Cable Beach in Nassau had been sidelined for two years when Harrah’s Entertainment pulled out due to the downturn. But now formal development agreements have been signed between Baha Mar and the Export-Import Bank of China and China State Construction and Engineering Corp.
Work on the 1,000-acre project is set to start later this year. Baha Mar will include six resorts with 3,000 hotel rooms; a 100,000-square-foot casino; an 18-hole golf course; a 20-acre beach and pool complex; and a retail village set along 3,000 feet of beachfront property.
The Baha Mar properties currently open are the Wyndham Nassau Resort (which will be downsized to a boutique hotel), the Crystal Palace Casino and the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort.
Sandals air lift
Also in the Bahamas, Sandals has revealed that three carriers have added flights from the U.S. and Canada to Great Exuma, Bahamas, following the opening of its Emerald Bay resort in February.
New services to Exuma includes a twice-weekly American Airlines flight from Miami on Fridays and Saturdays, beginning June 11, and a Delta flight on Wednesdays and Sundays, beginning June 13. The services come in addition to existing daily flights on American, Continental and Bahamasair.
On March 7, Air Canada launched weekly, nonstop service from Toronto.