Bahamas Fact Box
Full name: Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Population: 321,000
Area: 5,382 square miles
Capital and largest city: Nassau
Major language: English
Major religion: Christianity
GDP growth rate: 4%
GDP per capita: USD21,300
is working hard to increase the
numbers of visitors from Mainland China to its
shores and the early signs are promising – the
Ministry of Tourism’s new Chinese website is already
receiving 7,000 hits per month.
The Bahamas has traditionally been heavily reliant
on the US but the Chinese market is an obvious place
to turn, given that China is expected to become the
world’s largest supplier of outbound tourists over the
next 10-20 years.
In March 2006 Chinese travel agents, tour operators
and media visited the Bahamas and the first tourists
from the Mainland have started to arrive. The Minis-
try of Tourism has also launched a media marketing
A multitude
of island destinations
has helped the
Bahamas attract
3.5 million cruise
visitors per year
Port Holdings, again through a 50/50 joint venture with Port
Group Ltd, has invested USD50 million in Grand Bahama In-
ternational Airport since 2002, including a new US pre-clear-
ance facility that meets the latest US government regulations.
One of the largest privately owned airports in the world,
its 11,000-foot runway receives 165 private, charter and com-
mercial flights per day; some 420,000 round-trip passengers
pass through it every year. Then there is the Sea Air Business
Centre located between Grand Bahama International Airport
and the container port, which is being developed as a light
manufacturing, assembly, distribution and import/export
hub. The Sea Air Business Centre will take up approximately
740 acres and is expected to be of similar scale to the duty-
free zones in Dubai and Colon in Panama.
Hutchison also has its eyes on Grand Bahama’s untapped real
estate potential through the Grand Bahama Development Com-
pany, which owns 70,000 acres of land on Grand Bahama and is
responsible for planning the land zoned for tourist, commercial
and residential use in Freeport.
Apart from its climate and proximity to the US, another huge
plus for the Bahamas is that most
beach-front property in Florida
has already been built on, so devel-
opers are now turning to the Baha-
mas. Hutchison is planning its own
real estate development at Grand
Bahama’s Silver Point, located just
west of another Hutchison prop-
erty, the luxurious 1,271-roomOur
Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort.
But despite all that has already
taken place, “potential” remains
the buzz word for Freeport,
Grand Bahama and Hutchison;
all three may have only scratched
the surface of what they could
achieve. “We don’t even have to
be day-dreaming about it,” says
Mr Markoulis. “Many kinds of
economic investment and activity
have already taken place in Freeport but we know it can be a
far more productive economic engine.”
1...,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21 23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,...34