Bahamas Tourism Business Reopened to the world -More than 24,000 new stopover arrivals in Grand Bahama already!

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Tourism is back on the upswing! NEW NON-STOP SERVICE FROM WESTERN CANADA TO FREEPORT

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe addresses media in Vancouver, Canada

VANCOUVER, BC — Tourism officials are expecting a significant increase in the number of visitors to Grand Bahama Island due to the introduction of new weekly direct flights into Freeport from two Canada gateways.

Residents of Western Canada can look forward to a faster and easier way to get to The Bahamas when Sunwing Airlines launches its new services from Vancouver and Calgary on November 1, 2014.

It has been more than 30 years since Grand Bahama welcomed a direct flight from Vancouver.

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe and Director of the Grand Bahama Tourist Office Betty Bethel made the exciting announcement during a special luncheon for Canadian press at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

With the introduction of the non-stop Vancouver and Calgary flights, Sunwing will offer direct service into Grand Bahama from eight Canadian gateways. The airline currently offers direct flights from Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Halifax.

“This is an amazing opportunity as it opens Canada up to The Bahamas from the east coast to the west coast,” said Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu.

“People in the west coast may think that The Bahamas is just so far away and many of them choose to visit Hawaii instead. With these direct flights, it is just as easy to get to The Bahamas as it is to get to Hawaii, and so now we’re attracting a whole new market.”

Sunwing Vacations is the leisure tour operator responsible for Sunwing Airlines, as well as the Memories Grand Bahama Beach and Casino Resort that officially opened in Freeport earlier this year.

According to Carmel Churchill, Director of Marketing Services of the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, Sunwing Vacations has played a major role in the revitalization of Grand Bahama, and she expects even more growth with the addition of the two new flights.

“Already we have seen that it has been quite successful for us,” she said. “We’ve seen over 25,000 new visitors come to the island because of the Sunwing partnership. We anticipate that Grand Bahama will see an increase in air arrivals of up to 35 per cent with direct flights from the additional two cities – Vancouver and Calgary.”

Director of Sales at Sunwing Gramae Franklin (left), Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu (center) and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe are pictured at a press briefing for the announcement of Sunwing's new air service from Vancouver, Canada to Grand Bahama.