Foreign Affairs responds to U.S. travel advisory

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday night responded to the recent travel advisory that was issued earlier this week by the United States Department of State.

The Ministry said while the U.S. advisory includes cautions regarding the inconsistent regulation of the commercial and recreational watercraft industry, including water tours, the travel advisory 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 also provided the following information in last night’s issued statement:

  1. Overall, the guidance of the U.S. 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;
  2. The reality is that the vast majority of the six 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;
  3. 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 per cent), armed robbery (-18 per cent), attempted robbery (-19 per cent) and shop-breaking (-23 per cent). These efforts are commended by the Administration and people of The Bahamas; and
  4. 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 water sport 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,” the statement concluded.