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Tourism Minister: 'We'll Show Americans Fish Fry Is Safe'

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

THE Minister of Tourism yesterday pledged to "impress upon the Americans" that Arawak Cay's Fish Fry is safe, describing Washington D.C's travel advisory as "much ado about nothing".

A day after expressing concern over the warning not to visit Arawak Cay at night, Dionisio D'Aguilar expressed optimism that the US travel advisory would not deter Americans or any other visitors from visiting the popular food and cultural destination. "I don't think it's going to deter foreign visitors from going there, but it's another headache we have to deal with," the Minister told Tribune Business from New York, where he was engaged in a series of meetings with international travel media.

"I'm going to inquire why they felt it was necessary now, seemingly out of the blue, to issue this [advisory]. It's caught tourism by surprise. There's just nothing on the radar to suggest this travel advisory, this decision, is necessary.

"I think it's much ado about nothing, and we're going to impress upon the Americans that Arawak Cay is safe, the Bahamas is safe, and 99.9 per cent of visitors that come to this country have a wonderful vacation free of any drama. We've got to keep hitting that message."

The US travel advisory released on Wednesday appeared relatively mundane and little different from normal, apart from the section where it advised American visitors against visiting the Arawak Cay Fish Fry at night.

"If you decide to travel to the Bahamas, avoid the area known as 'Over-the-Hill' (south of south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau at night," the advisory said, amid a repetition of previous statements designed to deter Americans from visiting the Sand Trap or doing business with local jet ski operators.

Arawak Cay vendors yesterday told Tribune Business they feared the US travel advisory would result in a sharp deterioration in business, given that American visitors accounted for a significant percentage of trade during daylight hours.

Mr D'Aguilar, meanwhile, reiterated that he was "at a loss as to why" the US government would issue an advisory on Arawak Cay, adding: "I would think that thousands upon thousands of foreign visitors will continued to come to Arawak Cay and have an amazing experience.

"It's just unfortunate they [the US government] would see fit all of a sudden to pop up out of the blue and issue this travel advisory. I do note, though, that this is a travel advisory and not a travel warning, which is a bit harsher.

"I'm not concerned," the Minister continued. "It's a travel advisory. Look at the designation and definition. It tells tourists to exercise sensible caution and to take into account their surroundings.

"Most Americans that go there have an amazing time, and immerse themselves into Bahamian culture and food. It's generally accepted as very safe, very experiential, going out there and hanging out at Junkanoo. Some 6.3 million visitors come to the Bahamas annually, and I can count on one hand those that get into problems.

"The Bahamas is safe, the Caribbean is safe, especially when compared to many European and US cities. People have a better piece of mind when they travel to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. This advisory is certainly something we could have done without, as I don't think there's any incident to-date that should have caused someone to issue it out of the blue."

Comments

TalRussell 1 week, 2 days ago

Ma Comrade Bradda Dionisio James, there's no other way interpret if you decide to travel to the Bahamaland to avoid the area known as 'Over-the-Hill' (south of south of Shirley Street) and Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau 'AT NIGHT,' when the advisory among residents is - stay your asses home after dark..... Sorry, Ma Comrade Bradda minister, I don't see the misrepresentation by the US state department about the dangerous ways of ALL Nassau Town.... even more so at night? Does you travel about Nassau Town without armed policeman's at your public purse's ready protection? Do you leave your security detail at home when visit the Fish Fry? Just asking, okay? You can't bullshi# the natives living in fear for their very lives.... day and night. Are there NO increased risks for tourists at night at the Fish Fry because potential risks to Americans is all the state department cares about.... not waiting for the risk to have occurred. You get it?

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242gyal 1 week, 1 day ago

It's not necessarily unsafe, it's just disgusting and dirty. I won't go for the filth - ever walk around the back of some of those restaurants? Ever use the bathroom??

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bogart 1 week, 1 day ago

So far lots of pr and rebuttals from Govt officials but what measures and efforts to prove and reassure by the actual businesses?? Their silence is very loud as if in agreement with the govt or are they afraid to talk ?? Do they pay any fees??

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ThisIsOurs 1 week, 1 day ago

I'm amazed that no government has bulldozed that place and built structures that are actually pleasing to the eye...ok, they don't have the budget...what about taking care of the grass at minimum?

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TalRussell 1 week, 1 day ago

Ma Comrade Bradda ThisIsOurs, if historically, a majority of the 5-6 million tourists visiting The Bahamaland each year have been from the USA - one can only wonder what Dionisio James 'goin show' the Americans at the state department - his cock? If the tourism minister be smart I wouldn't risk sending a message to Trump via the state department - how his Dionisio James's - is bigger than the US presidents.... the Donald will nuke our 5-6 million USA departures visitors.

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TheMadHatter 1 week, 1 day ago

Bahamians don't care what circumstances they are forced to live under, or even if things might even get worse. Their new motto is "Thank God for life."

That's what their modern slave masters have programmed them to ACTUALLY believe. Don't try arguing any different with them - their minds are locked on the spin cycle.

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bogart 1 week, 1 day ago

Two sides of the same coin or 'nomenklatura' which is the term combining both in that no matter which side there is cohesion by way of family, business, social group, from the same island, bin to the same school, from the same neighborhood that the many layers are like plywood, extremely strong. Progression would be with the unhappy getting larger and larger hence the wide swings in voter pattern, election results or whay some say that a porty is not voted in but voted out. This does no good as there isnt an effective opposition by way of man hours, research, rebuttal so the cycle repeats

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

Based on its original design idea and function ...... Fish Fry is now a "shit hole" ..... More foreigners work there than Bahamians and it is nasty and unregulated ......................Go figger

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bogart 1 week, 1 day ago

Actually in todays guardian the businesses are blaming the scanty police presence. Regretably persons in highfalutin positions want us to be like Singapore but I have never seen or heard or read of any persons charged with littering, spitting, or the regullar urinating behind the car or tree looking nonchalant as though people aint know wha ya doin. Ive done my part by blowing da horn and play I waving to someone a few angles next to them and see dem turn and pee up dey shoe. Try it next time ya see dem peeing.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

It speaks to the ill-disciplined nature of Bahamians ..... pissing and littering in public, cussing and fighting in public, and just plain rude and disorderly once they get drunk ........ That is the problem with a large number of the Fish Fry local patrons. ............................. and off course, the Fish Fry vendors will sell the rum (and dope) and expect the Police to provide free law and order against miscreants........ typical pass-the-buck responses.

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johnmcntsh 1 week, 1 day ago

My wife and I visit your country quite a bit, once or twice a year. We have visited the Fish Fry multiple times and have even made Bahamian friends there.
I think this is overblown and will fade away very quickly. If we have not had any problems, nor seen any, in the several years we have visited I find this warning ridiculous.

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sheeprunner12 1 week, 1 day ago

We are happy for that .......... Please come again!!!!!!!!!!!

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ashley14 1 week ago

Really your visitors are your best advertisers. When they visit a warning from the embassy does from the beginning set a negative expectation. The visitors are your best advertisers. If they have a good experience they tell everyone they know and if they don't well should I elaborate. If the food is particularly good, then we will be back and bring our families and friends. If we feel intimidated or scared, you will never see us or anyone else we know back on that island. People don't spend their money on travel to take risks, and most are families with kids. Would you take your kids somewhere that you have any reservations against. Even though a lot of people think all Americans are rich snobs, that isn't true either. A lot of us work everyday just to make ends meet. We save all year to go on holiday, and we certainly don't want any negative experiences. Friendly people, decent food, safe environments, and that's not asking too much. It's common sense.

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John 1 week ago

Keep Martin Luther King’s dream alive : ‘ I saw little black boys holding hands with little white girls’. And there is your problem lol

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ashley14 6 days, 9 hours ago

So you don't like whites! I get it. Sorry I didn't choose my color.

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ashley14 6 days, 9 hours ago

Yes, prejudice hurts all colors. I don't believe MLK was just for blacks. Nevermind I know when to shut up.

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ashley14 6 days, 7 hours ago

Why worry about fish fry. Best advertising is word of mouth. Guess what I have to say about Nassau. Most Islands are wonderful, but some don't like us.

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BahamasForBahamians 6 days, 7 hours ago

Lol.. ironic the day of this announcement a cop is ambushed by a crack head... meters away from the same fish fry the tourism minister says is safe.

He must think everyone else lives in the same la la land he does!

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John 6 days, 5 hours ago

Ashley stop letting your ignorance show. Happy Martin Luther King Day... our equilivant to Majorly Rule Day.

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ashley14 6 days, 5 hours ago

The only reason I logged by in was to see if you commented to your insults. Now you call me ignorant. I won't be back.

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