THE BAHAMAS is committed to promoting its tourism assets to the Canadian market, Public Works and Transport Minister Neko Grant said.
Addressing a reception for Sunwing Airlines' inaugural flight from Canada on November 3, Mr Grant said: "As you are aware, tourism is our country's lifeline. We depend on it for the health of our economy and indeed for much of our quality of life.
"We take the tourism sector of our economy seriously and take pride in developing strategic partnerships with companies such as the Sunwing Travel Group, Canada's largest leisure company."
He described the new service as the first step in a long and lasting partnership between the Sunwing Travel Group and the Bahamas - and an opportunity to introduce Canadians and others to the country's rich heritage and its friendly, hospitable people.
"We are excited to have Canada's leading high frills, low cost airline service the Bahamas. Your award winning 'Champagne Service' which has been voted number one by customers and travel agents for the last four years, is a welcomed addition to the Bahamas' airlift from Canada," he said.
The Bahamas continues to upgrade infrastructure in Nassau and the Family Islands, Mr Grant said.
Some of the latest initiatives include: major roadworks throughout New Providence, a new airport gateway dual carriage road, the Baha Mar resort which is currently under construction, and upgrades to the Lynden Pindling International Airport and the Marsh Harbour airport in Abaco.
"Downtown Nassau is being rehabilitated to provide an exciting historic, entertainment and shopping experience for residents and visitors," Mr Grant added.
"Construction of a new Straw and Craft Market is completed and it will soon open for business, the historic parliament buildings are being refurbished, public green spaces are being established, commercial shipping is being moved from the downtown area, extensive road paving and sidewalk works are being done and Charlotte Street will be upgraded and pedestrianised."
Other Family Island airports are scheduled for improvements as part of the government's efforts to accommodate growth and development, and increase capacity for airlift and tourism, he said.