Those who recently took part in the groundbreaking for a new 7,300-foot runway and international airport in Mayaguana weren't just paving the way for new planes, but officially beginning a master plan that could result in the next Bahamas hot spot.
Never heard of it? Well, why should you have? After all, the island currently attracts only about 50 to 100 visitors a year, mainly sports fishermen, and is home to only one hotel, a 16-room boutique property.
However, Mayaguana should be on all agents' radar screens,
as Travel Agent recently learned that the island at the southeastern
edge of the
A long-term plan to transform 10,000 acres of vacant land into a tourism attraction recently grew one step closer to fruition as officials broke ground on a runway and international airport terminal there.
Emerging Island Destination
One of the most underdeveloped lands in the
The project is a joint venture of the Boston, MA-based
I-Group LLC and the government-owned Hotel Corporation of the
Located at the southeastern edge of the
Although the airport is still being developed and the
resurfacing the runway is still not complete, any personal plane that wants to
use the airport can do so now, Langer says. Future plans call for setting up
commercial airlines as well, with hopes of some major
"As soon as we can show that there will be a large volume of people looking to travel there, I think they will add us," Langer says of major airlines.
Langer says the government agreed to get on board when the
company he represents convinced it that this project would help the
The companies involved are basically building a new civilization from scratch. They are installing electricity in most of the area, as well as roadways, something that hardly exists on the island, Langer says.
Excellent Diving and Fishing
So, now that you know a bit about what Mayaguana will
become, here are some tidbits on what the island is now and why it could me a
big sell for agents and operators who specialize in the
First and foremost, the island is home to some of the best
diving and fishing spots in the
Its balmy waters and nearby reef create a protected and desirable climate for many kinds of fish. Recreational fishing on Mayaguana targets bonefish, wahoo, dolphin fish, blue and white marlin, sailfish and tuna. Grouper, snapper, "crawfish" (lobster) and conch can also be caught.
Bonefishing is the most popular, which takes place in small boats in shallow water or flats; the bonefish habitat here is virtually undisturbed, Langer says. Deep-sea sport fishing can be equally as exciting—a wahoo just 10 pounds short of the world record was recently caught just off the coast of Mayaguana, Langer says, and there are frequent stories of people catching fish larger than five pounds. Hired guides will be available for both shallow-water and deep-sea excursions.
There is also a lot for the adventurous traveler to experience. Eco-tourists will also find plenty to do here. Mayaguana's nature preserves are prime spots for animal observations with area guides specializing in educating tourists about the island's wildlife, which includes sea turtles, Bahamian rock iguanas, crabs, barracudas and about 118 species of birds, including West Indian flamingos, all thriving amidst pristine vegetation.
The destination could be pitched to clients before the major
developments take place; Mayaguana can be packaged as part of an overall tour
Nature Preserves in Development
Plans call for a nature preserve center to be located at
Although Langer says the companies involved have not met with agents and operators yet since plans are still very new, positive feedback has been received from many adventure- and fishing-themed seminars.
To learn more about Mayaguana, agents should visit www.mayaguana-island.com.