D’Aguilar: Recent crime incidents won’t impact tourism
The recent alleged sexual assault of a tourist and robbery of a store in a resort will have no impact on tourism numbers, Minister of Tourism Dionisio D’Aguilar said.
“The incidents are infinitesimal,” D’Aguilar said.
“I ain’t even saying small. I’m saying infinitesimal, that it’s not going to have any effect on our tourism arrivals. The Bahamas is a safe place to visit and the numbers reveal that.”
The tourism minister added, “We have 6.6 million foreign visitors come to our country and [the incidents are] very unfortunate. Any incident of crime occurring against them or any of our citizens is unacceptable. The reality is it’s going to happen from time to time, and I’m delighted to report that the robbers at Baha Mar have been apprehended and the police are obviously actively investigating that matter.”
On May 4, a visitor was allegedly sexually assaulted on a beach on Paradise Island.
On May 5, a jewelry store in the Baha Mar resort was robbed by two men who entered the store, broke into several show cases and stole an assortment of watches and jewelry before escaping.
Last month, the United States issued a travel advisory listing The Bahamas as a level two country where tourists should exercise increased caution due to crime.
The advisory notes the occurrence of violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies and sexual assaults during the day and in tourist areas.
It noted, “Although the Family Islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands.”
The advisory warned visitors to “exercise caution in the area known as ‘Over-the-Hill’ (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night” and to “not answer your door at your hotel [or] residence unless you know who it is”.
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