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Passengers Told To Be On Their Guard

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Obie Wilchcombe

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

CRUISE ship officials are concerned that crime levels in New Providence – in particular downtown Nassau – are escalating at a pace no longer safe for passengers, Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday.

While visitors have not yet been advised to remain on board ship, the Minister said they have been cautioned to take proper safety measures and be informed of previous instances of crimes against tourists.

The concerns, he said, were raised last week in a meeting by several executives. His announcement also came just moments after Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade reported that the latest overall crime numbers were down.

Speaking with The Tribune outside the Cabinet office, Mr Wilchcombe said the Ministry of Tourism has to now take a serious approach at ensuring that visitors are safe in the Bahamas.

“They are concerned about (crime),” he said , “and they are very reluctant to advise in some instances because of what has happened in the past, particularly to the crew members.

“They are telling them not to go out or only attend Senior Frogs. A lot of the young folks go there. At all times I think it is imperative for us as the host country to make sure that we have necessary security in place to protect the guests.

“So we have to be even more vigilant in the Ministry of Tourism. Together with the police we have to make sure that we have the security required for the protection of our guests.”

As a much sought after destination, Mr Wilchcombe also stressed the need for authorities to get a handle on crime in the country.

“We just need to be on top of things and the situation because we are a high-end destination. Because we are, what differentiates us from the rest of the world is our quality. So our product has to be the best and that includes people feeling safe when they are in this country.”

He said local authorities have already agreed to work with Tourism officials in that regard.

“The police have no difficulty. They understand that things have changed in the world and crime has just expanded all over the world with the types of crime. So the police work with us to ensure that we can deliver the service that we must,” the Minister said.

Comments

USAhelp 7 years, 2 months ago

So cuba or Jamaica may be a better choice.

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Unproud242 7 years, 2 months ago

Stop playing with these criminals and stop lying about statistics. Why are we hiding something we should be fighting? If the outside world can see what is actually happening then why do you all expect us to believe that crime is down. Either we toughen up or put some ports on the unspoiled family islands...they are still a part of The Bahamas right?

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concerned799 7 years, 2 months ago

If we had no cruise ships, and these visitors visited and stayed in hotels, there would be jobs for all (low to high skill).

Then workers would have work, and crime would go down.

Instead only a pittance of spend reaches the real economy from cruise ships, and the work is done by foreign labour aboard the ships.

More, and bigger cruise ships leads to more crime.... This fact proves how detrimental to the local economy the cruise ships in fact are. Funds are chanelled into bigger ships, and not into hotels that hire Bahamian workers.

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concernedcitizen 7 years, 2 months ago

the problem is we our losing stopover visitors b/c of high prices ,b/c our electricity is so high ,and bad service ..research and read even Jamaica that had a product they could hardly sell in the 80,s has been increaseing stopover as our has been declining ..we are spending ever increasing sums and give airfare credits to get the people here ..the U/S murder rate is 4 per 100,000 thosand ,,our murder rate is in the top 10 in the world at 27 per 100,000 ..did cruise ships cuase that ,,,we have had the highest per capita income in our region for the last 30 years and stiil our crime rate is skyrocketing ..your premise does not hold water ,,

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