0

Atlantis 'Very Worried' On Cruise Crime Warning

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas’ largest resort is “very concerned” about the crime warning sent to all its passengers by Carnival Cruise Lines, its top executive urging this nation to avoid suffering reputational damage similar to Aruba.

George Markantonis, Atlantis’s top executive, told Tribune Business that it had taken “a long time” for the Bahamas’ fellow Caribbean territory to recover its reputation in the aftermath of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance.

The Brookfield Hospitality president and managing director, though, pledged that Atlantis and other tourism operators were working “very aggressively” to deal with the issues that seemingly prompted Carnival to warn its thousands of passengers not to carry large sums of cash when disembarking in Nassau.

“We’re disappointed that the cruise lines may be discouraging passengers from venturing off the ship,” Mr Markantonis told Tribune Business.

“We continue to work with the Government on the crime problem. It’s an issue. We are very concerned about it, like the rest of the Bahamian tourism sector.

“It doesn’t take a lot to get us in the same situation that Aruba found itself in. It takes a long time to restore your reputation. We’re working aggressively on it, as we should be.”

Mr Markantonis’s comments are likely to add new impetus and urgency to the combined government/private sector response to Carnival’s warning, which many observers had seen coming for months, due to increased robberies and other crimes being committed against visitors in tourist areas.

Cruise passengers, who visit Atlantis’s water-based theme park, casino and other attractions on day passes, after being ferried across the harbour from Prince George’s Wharf, have become an increasingly important segment of the resort’s business.

Mr Markantonis confirmed that Atlantis could accommodate up to 4,000 cruise passengers per day, so any warning by Carnival could have a dramatic negative impact on that business.

David Johnson, the Ministry of Tourism’s director-general, confirmed to Tribune Business that the Government was working to address both Carnival’s concerns plus the anger expressed by Bay Street merchants over the letter’s impact on their business.

Agreeing that it sent a negative message about Nassau to potential visitors before they even set foot in the city, Mr Johnson disclosed that the letter was being left in cruise passenger cabins.

“We’re on that, and communicating with all stakeholders,” Mr Johnson said. “I expect we will have an arrangement that all parties can live with very shortly as it relates to that problem.

“Every passenger receiving a note like that, even before they arrive at the destination, that’s not what we would wish to see. We want to optimize the tourism dollars businesses are getting, so we’re very concerned about that.”

Comments

USAhelp 7 years, 7 months ago

Truth hurts sooner or later someone will wake up. Wont miss it till it is gone

1

john33xyz 7 years, 7 months ago

Mr Markantonis, what do you mean you are working with Government on the crime problem? Have you offered to build ONE or TWO NEW COURT ROOMS? That is what we need. There is a backlog in bringing cases to court that will NEVER be addressed unless government officials start seeing Judges sitting on the bench with no defendants before them (ie. the Registry didn't schedule any and the room sits empty but the Judge gets paid).

As of now, it is just the opposite situation.

We need more Judges and more court rooms !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

We also need to REDUCE sentences for simple possession of marijuana so that jail cells can be free to house actual criminals (like the ones that rob tourists and make headlines in the newspaper).

That will only happen when the Christian Council supports such a move. If you guys would let it be quietly (and unofficially) be known that you give LESS CONSIDERATION to employment applications from persons who attend churches that are members of the Christian Council - that might make an impact. The reason you would? Because the CC keeps the jail cells full of non-criminals by virtue of their fake virtue.

Good luck with your endeavors.

0

banker 7 years, 7 months ago

Why should Atlantis be built jail cells? Law & Order is the purview of governments everywhere. "Working with the government" on crime problems means keeping Bahamian criminals off Atlantis property, and taking measures to prevent tourists from contacting Bahamians with criminal intent. As for reducing crime in general, that is the job of the government. And as someone who interviews people for jobs, I get less tiefin' from the church goers than I do from non-church goers.

The crime problems itself rests squarely on the shoulders of the government.

3

paul_vincent_zecchino 7 years, 7 months ago

For all the times my family and I have walked off the cruise ship gangway and walked around Bay Street, visiting merchants and others with whom we're friendly and hiking around town and driving around the island, we've not once experienced anything other than welcoming hospitality. Not once.

Yeah, Nassau has a crime problem today as it did during the 70s and 80s. Then, it was drug lords like Lehder and his goons and brave men like Police Commissioner Farquarson, or Ferguson - if memory serves correctly - who stood up to both him and his political pals. Today, it's kids, rank amateurs who fancy themselves drug lords, killing one another over a bag of dope. Old story.

Reading this dire pronouncement, you can't help but wonder if Carnival is just trying to cover its liability and perhaps scare passengers into remaining aboard ship, where they can spend their dough aboard rather than in town.

0

msmuffett 7 years, 7 months ago

I disagree, when the american embassy vice counsel who is 74 years old is accosted on her way to the cathedral its cause for concern, when the guest from chicago is murdered on the street trying to defend(mistakenly) his female compaion it is cause for concern, when my business partner and friends home is broken into and his wife and children are terrorised it is cause for concern, when or if the government can or will get a handle on crime is cause for concern and Carnival would be remiss it not advising passengers. I have been visitor to the bahamas for over 40 years. This isnt the same as the 80,s. this is a country taken over and held captive by a reign of terror from unthinking, selfish, short sighted desperate fools. who ruin it for us all . Its not a matter of if but when in my view.

1

Sign in to comment