Bahamas tourism: Happy as a pig in… water.
Indeed, the country is confident about its prospects for 2014 following a year of transition, construction and loss of inventory, with the tourism board targeting a double-digit growth in arrivals. And with the $2.6 billion Cable Beach project set to begin full operations in December next year, Crystal Investment and Real Estate tells TheMoveChannel.com that the islands are set for a “huge rebound”.
The Bahamas’ tourism infrastructure is already mature, supporting approximately 1.5 million stopover visitors and 3.5 million cruise visitors per annum, while its progressive service industry has helped the sector to become the largest driver of the country’s economic activity.
Moreover, with recent new investments – the Atlantis Phase III, the Baha Mar Development Company in the Cable Beach strip, and any number of projects planned for the Family Islands – the tourism industry is poised for exponential growth and development that will help create sustainable and lasting economic supports for the industry.
Luke Smith, Managing Director of Crystal Investment and Real Estate comments: “Though there are no official house price figures, house prices are estimated by local agents to have dropped by 30% to 40% from 2007 to 2010 and they are starting to recover now and sales volumes are picking up. Improved tourism and a better economic outlook, as well as stabilising prices, suggest that a market recovery will not long be delayed.
“A major contribution to the recent growth in the overall Bahamian economy is Kerzner International’s Atlantis Resort and Casino, which took over the former Paradise Island Resort and has provided a much needed boost to the economy. The islands’ zero rate income tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax and VAT is clearly luring wealthy foreign investors looking to avoid spiralling tax burdens overseas.”
Indeed, with no taxes on income, sales, estates or inheritances and no capital gains tax on real estate, The Bahamas’ financial laws are very attractive to foreigners, many of whom choose to become residents.