Virgin Atlantic launches new service to Bahamas and increases frequency to Barbados

Virgin Atlantic has announced new services to the Bahamas from London Heathrow this winter as well as increasing the frequency of its flights to Barbados.

As travel restrictions ease, the new services will serve the unmet demand from consumers looking for a relaxing holiday in the sunny Caribbean destination. With 16 major islands surrounded by the world’s clearest waters, the Bahamas is a popular destination with beautiful white sand beaches, sailing adventures, fishing and diving as well Exuma’s swimming pigs.

Virgin Atlantic will launch twice-weekly services from London Heathrow to Nassau commencing on November 20 on the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Services will go on sale from August 11, 2021 with return Economy flights starting from £713 per person.

In addition, starting from October 31, Virgin Atlantic will increase its services to the island of Barbados. Flights from Manchester to Barbados will increase from three times a week to five times and from Heathrow, daily flights will increase to 11 times a week.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, ‘We couldn’t be more excited to add the Bahamas to our ever-expanding portfolio of Caribbean destinations. We are seeing a real demand from our customers for luxury holidays in the sun with Brits keen to escape on their next adventure after a difficult year. With 16 islands surrounded by the world’s clearest water, the Bahamas offers the perfect escape for those travellers looking to either simply relax or explore a new corner of the world.

‘We’re currently flying to Barbados, Antigua, Jamaica and Grenada and expect to restart Tobago and Havana, Cuba in the upcoming months. We look forward to launching new services to the Bahamas as well as the first direct service from Europe to St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2021.

‘As we head into winter 2021, we look forward to expanding our Caribbean portfolio from six islands up to eight and we are incredibly excited to welcome customers on board flying to our destinations both old and new, heading off on holiday or travelling to visit loved ones.’

‘We are incredibly thrilled about Virgin Atlantic’s new, twice-weekly airlift services from London’s Heathrow Airport, which will allow travellers to opt for a direct flight to the capital of The Bahamas,’ said the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation. ‘There is a growing demand amongst UK travellers seeking a tropical, Bahamian escape. We look forward to welcoming them to our beautiful shores to experience what makes our country a unique Caribbean destination unlike any other.’

Bahamian prime minister calls for reef conservation

The prime minister of Bahamas has called for the conservation of the nation’s reefs.

Prime minister, Perry Christie, has urged stakeholders to ensure that the nation’s natural wealth, including its beaches, coast, associated reef system and marine life, are not destroyed or unduly compromised in the process of developing a tourism infrastructure. His call comes as the national economy is increasingly dependent on tourism and tourist services. While addressing the opening ceremony of Caribbean Travel Marketplace last Sunday at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, Christie said that the hotel and resort developers opt for prime beachfront and coastal areas of the Caribbean, which can have ecologic costs that are often irreversible.

Christie said, ‘While this appetite is perfectly understandable in the competitive market for tourists who are looking to be right on the beach and right next to the water, this paradigm may not always be compatible with coastal and beach-conservation objectives of national governments.’

He added that when the beachfront is used for purposes such as recreation, swimming, fishing and relaxation, it puts a great deal of strain on the ecosystem. He said that dealing with the problem was a very complex subject, which would require finding ways and means to strike the right balance between commerce and nature preservation. He said that an answer had to be found, because at stake was the very sustenance of tourism.

‘We are going to be increasingly challenged to harmonise national and regional objectives for environmental conservation and protection with the commercial objectives of private-sector hotel and resort developers. We must be careful to protect our environment and stay engaged in national, regional and international measures to curtail climate change and coastal erosion,’ Christie said, adding that due regard had to be given to the recent UN General Assembly landmark resolution that recognised ecotourism as a tool for the promotion of sustainable development.

Bahamas PM concerned by rising crime

The prime minister of Bahamas has aired his concern about rising crime in the country.

Prime minister, Perry Christie, said that the increasing incidences of crime could have a bearing on tourism in the nation, to the extent that there was no bigger threat to the future viability of tourism in the region than crime. He was addressing a group of delegates at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. The prime minister observed that the escalation in criminal violence, robbery and theft within the respective jurisdictions of the region has become a grave concern for the authorities. He was also concerned about the ripple effect that crimes could have on tourism, which is a significant revenue earner for the state.

The prime minister, who is also a former tourism minister, said that the problem did not only manifest itself in crimes against tourists. He said that stigmatisation of entire nations or tourism destinations as crime-ridden enclaves was destructive and self-defeating.

Christie said, ‘The combination of travel advisories against certain destinations, coupled with media publicity in the major markets discouraging tourism travel to certain destinations, is a trend that is bound to not only continue, but to accelerate and widen unless we manage to bring criminal activity down, way down, in our respective countries all across the region.’

The PM also called on concerned authorities to continue to aggressively market locations in the region as friendly places for vacation experiences. He assured that policing would be increased in order to ensure the safety of tourists.


Bahamas to attract bird watchers

The tourism department in the Bahamas has launched a plan to encourage bird watching under its birding tourism development plan.

The Sustainable Tourism Unit is supporting the initiative, with the assistance of Small Planet Consulting. Bahamas, which places a great deal of emphasis on preserving its natural environment and natural assets, has taken many steps in order to protect them, and is one of the first countries in the world to establish a Sustainable Tourism Unit (STU), which initiated the development of the Bahamas Sustainable Tourism Development policy guidelines. It has 26 national parks that occupy more than 700,000 acres of protected marine and land area.

The nation is one of the destinations of choice for seasoned ornithologists, as well as for novices who are just starting to watch birds in their natural environments. The Bahamas is believed to have 340 bird species, including about 110 species that breed in the country. Approximately 170 species are migrant birds that visit the nation from other regions and in different seasons. There are also about 50 rarely occurring vagrant species, and 28 species that are not seen in the US, Canada or Europe.

The tourism department had previously developed a fully accredited birding tour guide course, and in 2011 it developed a birding tourism development plan.

Dr Rick Wright, a US birding tourism professional and a former editor of the American Birding Association’s ‘Winging It’ monthly newsletter, said, ‘Everywhere you look there are birds, and birds in a wondrous combination of the familiar and the exotic and new. But best of all, there are birders to show them to you and to enjoy them with you. I can’t imagine a better place to spend a couple of weeks than The Bahamas.’



Brits set for weekend hotter than Bahamas

This weekend Brits will be treated to temperatures reaching as high as 28C this weekend. If your thinking of getting away, you may need to think again. The UK will see temperatures today match those in the Bahamas and even parts of Australia.

The forecast suggest the hot weather is set to stay for the weekend, with many Brits heading for the coast to soak up the late summer sunshine.


York yesterday saw the hottest September 29 since 1895, when the mercury reached 27.8C.


According to the Met Office website, the outlook for Saturday through to Monday is ‘fine’.


It said: ‘Outbreaks of rain continuing across northern and western UK. England and Wales fine and very warm over the weekend, then turning cloudier and less warm. Breezier on Monday.’


This weekend will see temperatures sore more that 10C over the usual temperature for this time of year.


Paul Mott, meteorologist for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: ‘We are still on for some exceptionally warm weather until Sunday.


‘Temperatures today will probably reach 28C over the London area. Central and eastern England could reach up to 27C, so it is very warm indeed.


‘That is a good 10C to 11C warmer than what we would expect for this time of year.’


Jersey saw the hottest weather for the UK yesterday, in St Helier – were it reached 27.3C.