The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas takes note of the travel advisory issued today, 26 February 2019, obligatorily by the United States Department of State on The Bahamas, which includes cautions regarding the inconsistent regulation of the commercial recreational watercraft industry, including water tours.
The Ministry takes note that the travel advisory from the Department of State no longer warns Americans to avoid the areas known as “Over-the-Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, but, rather, notifies Americans to “exercise caution” in those areas.
The Ministry provides the following for the information of the general public:
- Overall, the guidance of the US Department of State to its citizens remains at Level Two, which recommends caution but not actually urging delay or cancellation of travel plans to the islands of The Bahamas, falls in line with Bahamian recommendations to travellers to any destination to maintain awareness of their surroundings and exercise basic precautions, as they likely would in their home cities and when not on holiday;
- The reality is that the vast majority of the six (6) million visitors who come to The Bahamas – by air, sea, and cruises – vacation in our islands without any incident whatsoever, but, notwithstanding, The Bahamas takes the safety of residents and visitors very seriously and will continue to work in keeping the safety and security of all visitors to our shores priority;
- The efforts of law enforcement authorities, along with significant investments by the Government of The Bahamas in human capital and information technology to fight crime, have made significant progress in reducing serious crimes like murder (-25%), armed robbery (-18%), attempted robbery (-19%) and shop-breaking (-23%). These efforts are commended by the Administration and people of The Bahamas; and
- There has been and continues to be collaboration between the Ministries of Tourism and Aviation and Transport and Local Government with the Port Department to address needed changes in regulation and enforcement to ensure safe and responsible operation of commercial recreational watersport and excursion tour companies.
The Ministry reiterates to the Bahamian public at large and to visitors alike that the Government of The Bahamas takes all recommendations to travellers to any destination very seriously, not only to ensure their safety and security, but to ensure their enjoyment of wonderful, meaningful, fun-filled and memorable experiences in The Bahamas.
Presss Statement: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nassau, The Bahamas