The Bahamian tourism minister has revealed that travel officials are “in discussions” with the Ministries of Marine Resources and Transport to better “mitigate” the risk of shark attacks surrounding the island nation.
In recent weeks, three devastating shark attacks near the Bahamas killed one victim and injured two others.
On June 27, an American woman vacationing in the Bahamas with her family was killed after being viciously attacked by three sharks while snorkeling. Weeks later, two American men were attacked by sharks in the seas near Abaco in two separate incidents, local media reported.
Now, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar says that tour operators will have to proceed cautiously in evaluating how they run their businesses from a travel safety perspective, and “transform” for the better.
“I think that companies probably never even thought, because we have had so few shark attacks over the last hundred years… that many companies did not even take that into consideration in terms of developing their safety protocols, but now they will,” D’Aguilar told the Guardian. “And so I think that the industry will transform itself based on what has transpired.”
“There have been numerous shark attacks all up and down the east coast of the United States. But I’m deeply saddened of course for the family whose daughter was tragically killed by the shark,” D’Aguilar continued. “And it’s very hard, everyone in the press wants to know how this is going to affect tourism, how is this going to affect people coming to the country. And it’s always very hard for one to discuss that knowing that this family has had that loss.”
“And so how we react to it and how we respond to it and how we attempt to mitigate it is probably more important, and you know, we’re certainly in discussions with the Ministry of Marine Resources, in discussions with the Ministry of Transport that’s responsible for licensing boats,” he went on.
As noted by TravelPulse, the Bahamas are experiencing a slight tourism boom through the 2019 season, with international arrivals from March through May averaging nine percent more people than last year.