EDITOR, The Tribune.
The Minister of Tourism outlined steps towards reopening the vital tourism sector. However, when reading the remarks, it does not appear to be very welcoming for prospective visitors. I wonder if anyone who is designing the harsh requirements for entry has ever consulted with travel agents or visitors themselves.
I have been attempting to come again from Canada to visit friends and family in Nassau for some months. However, Air Canada cancelled service when the borders were closed and the requirements make it almost impossible for Canadians and others to complete in the time frame set out.
Tests were to be no older than ten days old. This has now been reduced to five days. How can anyone take a COVID-19 test, await two days for a written result, scan it to Nassau for your new “Health Visa”, await two days or more for authority to travel and then take a flight or flights if a connection is required and be in Nassau in five days?
Who is dreaming up these measures? COVID-19 test centres are not retail stores found on every street.
In Canada, the ten provincial governments are solely responsible for health care and administer the tests in some cases. They have far more important health problems to solve than taking valuable time to give tests to people who may want to travel overseas.
Frankly, most Canadians simply do not have time for all the hassles involved in coming to The Bahamas. There are far too many other places to go without the expense and problems set by Bahamians.
Most people want to do sightseeing and move around the place they have come to visit. They will not want to be in quarantine or any other name your authorities are calling it. Even worse, they are being asked to pay for another test after 14 days.
People are not booking and the airline flights have been severely reduced from Canada. Is it any wonder with all the roadblocks?
If I did not have connections with Nassau, I would not bother to come.
The Bahamas has always been a favorite destination for Canadians.
However, unless changes are made soon there will be a drastic reduction in visitor numbers. Lost in all of the ongoing measures is any common sense.
September 8, 2020.