The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) called for further collaboration among government agencies and the United States Embassy in Nassau to mitigate and hopefully eliminate travel advisories like the one recently released by the U.S. Department of State.
“We acknowledge the fact that any incident which threatens the safety of visitors and/or locals is one too many and are pleased to see reports that incidents of serious crime, which largely impacts our local population, is on the decline, while crimes against visitors are minimal, given the number of annual visitors to our islands,” the organization said in a statement.
“We fully appreciate the impact a crime warning has on any jurisdiction and will continue to engage with partners in both the private and public sector, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and U.S. officials, including the U.S. Embassy, to address issues of concern.”
Last week, the U.S. Department of State issued a warning to U.S. citizens to “exercise increased caution” when visiting The Bahamas due to crime, particularly in the Over-the-Hill area and at the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay.
“The BHTA recognizes the fact that our ability to provide and promote a safe, clean and enjoyable environment for visitors and locals is key to attracting guests to our destination and to delivering an ambiance where locals and visitors can fully appreciate the unique beauty, culture and history of the country, and to enjoy the genuine warmth and hospitable nature of Bahamians,” the statement said.
“We further recognize The Bahamas is not alone in its efforts to protect its citizenry and transient guests; and that safety and security remains a high priority for all countries, including, but not limited to, the United States of America, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.”
In response to the warning, the Ministry of Tourism said the vast majority of the 6 million visitors who travel to The Bahamas annually do so without incident, and that of the 43 reported incidents of crime involving tourists last year, 30 were United States citizens and the crimes were minor.
Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016.
Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News