The Bahamas are in discussions with China about arranging a direct flight to increase trade and cultural exchanges, according to its ambassador to China, Paul Gomez, in a recent interview with China Daily.
Gomez explained that the two signed a visa-exemption agreement with China three years ago allowing Bahamians and Chinese to travel to the other country visa-free for up to 30 days.
He then commented, "Some might not even know about the visa-free policy, so I think it is necessary to get it promoted through Bahamian airlines and also reached to more tourists in both countries." But, at the same time, Chinese tourists wanting to go to the island country in the Caribbean, which is known for its tropical scenery, have to go via Toronto, London, or cities in the United States, which all require a transit visa and take much more travel time.
And, the country only sees a small number of Chinese tourists each year in spite of its sun-drenched beaches and many islands. "When you look at a country that has 1.3 billion people, but only 2,000 traveling to the Bahamas, it's a very low figure," he said, then went on to add that two are now exploring the possibility of direct flights, which would make it much easier to do business as well.
Gomez just presented his credentials to President Xi Jinping earlier this year and previously had worked extensively in liquidations and business restructuring.
The Bahamas are working with a group of Caribbean countries at the upcoming China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, he noted, to share resources and know-how for a greater impact on China and to help attract more Chinese investors and tourists.