US tourism arrivals to the Bahamas are reaching records, and even the Dallas Cowboys love The Bahamas. Arrivals in Jamaica are at a never seen before record high. Tourism in the Caribbean is booming, and visitors are mostly from the United States – and they are coming back again and again.
Is There a Realistic Danger of Getting Killed When Visiting The Bahamas?
According to an avalanche of recent US news reports from CNN to FOX and everything in between, there may be such a possibility. What is left out, however, is that this threat would only apply to visitors that are related to local Bahamas gang activities.
A picture-perfect image of an island travel and tourism paradise, its reliance on US tourists is, however, tainted according to the US Embassy in Nassau.
The Bahamas has been one of the most progressive countries for US tourism and beyond, and so has been Jamaica.
But reaching inbound tourism opportunities doesn’t stop with the United States as a source market. Direct flights to the Bahamas and Jamaica from Europe are increasing as well.
As of today, the US is telling its citizens to exercise increased caution when traveling to The Bahamas.
The Bahamas island nation was in a similar situation during the COVID crisis, but so was almost every country on the US travel advisory table.
In a new US category 2 advisory issued today by the US Embassy in Nassau, Americans were made aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024.
Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in the 2024 murders.
Actions to Take:
Exercise extreme caution in the eastern part of New Providence Island (Nassau)
Use caution when walking or driving at night
Keep a low profile
Be aware of your surroundings
Do not physically resist any robbery attempt
Review your personal security plans
A Concerned Bahamas Prime Minister Davis
Bahamas Prime Minister Davis says the government’s strategy titled “Crackdown 2024: Building Safer Communities” addresses the harsh realities facing The Bahamas.
“Each act of violence is a stark reminder of the urgent work that lies ahead. The stories of families shattered, dreams unfulfilled, and communities living in fear are not just news items; they are heartbreaking realities that I, as your Prime Minister, carry with me every day. These are not just statistics; they are our children, our friends, our future,” he said.
The PM is correct, but does it justify its giant neighbor, the United States of America, to warn its citizens about travel to this country for tourism?
Diplomatic protocol may not allow the prime minister to say much, but The Bahamas travel and tourism industry should.
Did American Tourists Get Gurdered or Harmed in The Bahamas?
The fact remains, that no American tourist has been harmed or put in danger.
American visitors usually enjoy an excellent time when traveling to The Bahamas. As long as a visitor is not involved in local gang activities, the islands remain a safe and desirable destination.
An American woman was killed by a shark in November 2023 while paddle boarding in The Bahamas, and in 2022, a woman was found dead in a Sandals resort, but this was based on a domestic issue.
Is it Safer for Tourists to Stay in the United States?
If the same US standard was applied to the domestic destination in the United States, this would be a lot more worrying. But those getting killed in California Texas, and Illinois are not tourists, so tourism is not an issue.
Shark attacks happen a lot more frequently in US destinations such as Hawaii or Florida, so even the 2,197 people killed in California in 2022, or 2020 in Texas had never been a concern for tourism.
eTurboNews reached out to The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and will update readers if a response is forthcoming.
Should Americans Reconsider Travel to Jamaica?
Besides The Bahamas, Jamaica is in a similar situation targeted by the US for category 3 US travel advisories slammed on the country on Tuesday.
In a category 3 warning, the United States is asking its citizens to reconsider travel to the land of Reggae, saying:
Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.
US State DepartmentWhat was left out in the report was that such incidents were reported mostly between 2011 and 2018, when 78 rape cases in Jamaica’s all-inclusive resorts were reported, many connected to alcohol.
There are no reports of murders involving visitors in Jamaica this year. Property crimes are a reality and on a similar level to Hawaii.
Unfortunately, Jamaica was not alone when it came to reports of rape back in 2018.
The Chinese Connection to Jamaica
The just imposed new US travel warning against Jamaica is despite Americans visiting Jamaica in never-before-seen numbers, making the island of One Love one of the most desirable and fun travel and tourism destinations for Americans.
The Jamaica travel advisory by the US State Department has all the ingredients to be politically motivated to retaliate against a recent visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Jamaica. He was in Jamaica on January 20 and met with Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Michael Holness on January 20.
Jamaica was among the first Caribbean countries to sign a memorandum of understanding on Belt and Road cooperation with China and the first country in the Western Hemisphere to sign the Belt and Road cooperation plan.
Even former US President Trump said in 2018 that American travel warnings are often politically motivated, and Americans should not always believe them.
Keeping this in mind, it may still be better in The Bahamas to experience the birthplace of Reggae, Ska, Mento, Rocksteady, and Dancehall music, and of course meet Jamaica’s melting pot of rich culture, embodied by its national motto, “Out of Many, One People.”
Jamaica’s cultural diversity is a blend of Taíno, African, Indian, Spanish, Chinese, German, Portuguese, Syrian, Lebanese, English, Irish, French, and Welsh influences that one will see in Jamaica’s food, architecture, music, dance, folklore, and language.
After all, global tourism resilience was born in Jamaica as an initiative by the Hon. Edmund Bartlett (Minister of Tourism) when the United Nations made it official.