‘IMPEDIMENT’ TO TOURISM?: Baha Mar president slams travel health visa as ‘unnecessary burden’ for tourists

‘IMPEDIMENT’ TO TOURISM?: Baha Mar president slams travel health visa as ‘unnecessary burden’ for tourists

CDC Level 4 advisory hurting groups business, says Davis

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Baha Mar’s president said yesterday that the $40 cost of the travel health visa for tourists is an “unnecessary burden” and an “impediment”, noting that 90 percent of the guests the resort checks in are vaccinated.

Graeme Davis, who was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS), also noted that the country’s Level 4 Travel Advisory issued by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) is also posing challenges to the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) market.

“I hope that the cost of the health visa go down dramatically for tourists. There is no need for a vaccinated tourist to buy insurance,” said Davis,

Baha Mar President Graeme Davis.

He added: “Ninety percent of our guests are vaccinated. We check every guest that comes in and 90 percent of our guests are vaccinated. For them to pay $40 for a travel visa is an unnecessary burden and an impediment to come here as well.” 

Davis expressed optimism that the government will review and remove the “impediment”.

“We believe in the travel visa to ensure an easy upload of test results and that’s a smooth process,” he said. 

The Philip Brave Davis administration has opted to retain the travel health visa for international travelers. It has been eliminated for inter-island travel, while the fees levied on unvaccinated Bahamians and residents returning home have been discontinued.

Baha Mar’s president said yesterday that he was excited about the resort’s future bookings.

“We have seen that trend really uptick when we reopened in March at all three of our properties. We really saw that surge in the summer time,” he said, noting that the resort development’s $200 million Baha Bay waterpark has helped to draw more visitors to the resort.

“We saw our numbers in terms of occupancy and rates exceed 2019, starting in July all the way through September,” said Davis.

“Obviously, in 2019 we had Dorian, so in that respect we were slightly up as well. Now we are starting to see a resurgence here in October November and December.”

According to Davis, the booking pace for 2022 is well above 2019 levels.

Baha Mar.

“Our only concern here is in the group market, the MICE market particularly as you get into corporate governance and risk management,” said Davis.

“There are concerns with companies traveling into countries with a US/CDC Level 4 “Do Not Travel” warning.

“That is a real impediment for corporations to travel to counties like ours, so it is really important that we as a community and nation continue to do our part to get vaccinated and follow all the necessary protocols.”

Davis said that this nation must get to a Level 3 advisory very soon.

Back in August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States added The Bahamas to its “Do Not Travel” list, citing the “very high level of COVID-19 in the country”.

According to Davis, Baha Mar has attained a 64 percent vaccination rate among its associates and has carried out 325,000 COVID tests with its associates and tests offered complimentary for guests.


the chinese owners are from the country where this originated from won’t even give a honest answer. $40 is equivalent to an appetizer there. How does the bahamian government let them tell us what to do and let them hire their own workers to build it.

Not only is the Health Visa burden, but more so an inconvenience. Can you imagine a family trying to get back home, without a laptop available to them trying to upload their covid test and vaccination certificate for their whole family? What a nightmare especially for those not not computer savvy. Mr. Davis while the financial burden has been lifted the inconvenience is still there for all travelers. So I do agree that it should be eliminated.

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