Bahamas Ministry of Tourism responds to State Department's travel advisory

After the United States Department of State issued an updated travel advisory for The Bahamas in February, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Aviation issued a response touting the safety of the tropical islands.

The expanded advisory from the State Department told tourists heading to The Bahamas to exercise “increased caution” due to crime but did not urge people to delay or cancel travel plans to the islands.

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Officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation echoed the recommendation of maintaining awareness of a person’s surroundings and exercising necessary precautions but asserted those are the same tried and true methods practiced in a traveler’s home city when not on vacation.

According to Royal Bahamas Police data for 2018, there were a total of 43 incidents involving tourists, with 30 of them involving a U.S. national and nearly all of the crimes being considered minor offenses.

Law enforcement efforts have helped drastically reduce serious crimes in the nation, such as murder by 25 percent, armed robbery by 18 percent, attempted robbery by 19 percent and shoplifting by 23 percent.

The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation said the “safety of residents and visitors is of paramount importance and efforts to maintain and improve security are a constant priority for Bahamas authorities as is true for all governments.”

As a result, police have stepped up their presence in the areas referenced in the advisory and tourist areas, and officials are working to make changes the regulation and enforcement of measures to ensure the safety of watercraft activities.