0

Too Hard To Travel To Bahamas

EDITOR, The Tribune.

Your recent story about the Bahamian stranded in Canada has once again shed light on the difficulties facing visitors and residents wanting to enter The Bahamas.

We keep hearing reports about the further delays in tourism rebounding. We have read about the major resorts putting all measures into place about testing for COVID-19. The major question is where will the tourists be to reopen the economy?

Absent from all these pronouncements is the reality that the entry rules are so harsh and time consuming that few people can or even want to complete them.

Even the most ardent friends of The Bahamas find it almost impossible to find test centres, wait at least two days for results, scan all this to Nassau with the forms for the Health Visa and then arrive within five days.

With tourism in such decline the few flights available make these requirements even more challenging to complete.

It is pointless for the Tourism Minister and staff to make hopeful statements about the revival of your most important economic business.

Until the rules are eased and the unnecessary delays caused by the Health Visa are eliminated there will be no rebound.

Can anyone seriously imagine that cruise passengers would be willing to go through this process? It is difficult enough for land passengers.

Those of us who own holiday properties justifiably are angry that we cannot come and enjoy our stays due to the incomprehensible policies of your Government.

We understand the health pandemic is worrying Bahamians, but most passengers are willing to bring test results so people would not be arriving who are not well.

Common sense is required immediately.

MARK V JOHNSTONE

Bedford, Massachusetts

USA

February 15, 2021.

Comments

newcitizen 2 weeks ago

This BS again. Tribune took a little break from publishing these stupid sob songs by Americans and Canadians about how hard it is for them to organize themselves to travel. It's like they are children who are totally incompetent. On top of this they are arguing like no other country in the world has any sort of restrictions. It's actually pretty insulting that these incompetent people are trying to tell us how we should act only because they have been inconvenienced. Cruise ship passengers having to worry about travel visas. Does Markie not know thay cruise ships aren't even sailing for another 6 months at a minimum.

It amazes me that people will write letter to a newspaper to be published that highlight their incompetence so clearly.

0

moncurcool 2 weeks ago

Am sorry, but how the heck you equate a person stuck in Canada because of no visa with the health protocols to enter the country?

0

carolyn.lloyd@ymail.com 2 weeks ago

In response to Mark V Johnstone's letter: My husband and I work in the hospitality industry, managing a resort in Belize. We own a home in Grand Bahama and have not been able to leave Belize for 12 months. The hospitality industry here, like the Bahamas has been decimated. It has been a really tough time for the islands and what many prospective visitors don't realise is that without strict protocols, the islands could not cope with COVID-19. In the past few weeks, Belize permitted PCR tests to be available for non -essential travel and so finally I have been able to make arrangements to come to Grand Bahama and check our home. The PCR test in Belize costs US$400.00, a hefty price but if you want to travel in these times, I have no other option. Due to limited flights, I have to also overnight in Miami each way, further increasing the cost. Does that upset me? Hell no! I want to be back in my home, albeit just for a week. Am I upset about the restrictions? No. My Health Visa took less than an hour to be approved and I will be arriving in Grand Bahama tomorrow - I can't wait! Worldwide, life is inconvenient right now and likely to be so for some time. Instead of whinging, go through the inconvenience, complete the protocols with the Health Visa, get on a plane and give something back to the Bahamas! I have a feeling of guilt that I am able to do this whilst over 60 of our employees here in Belize are laid off with no financial assistance after 1 year. Why are so many so selfish? Why do they not understand the implications of what could have happened if these restrictions were not in place? Grand Bahama, here I come!

0

proudloudandfnm 2 weeks ago

I traveled last week. No big deal. Found a lab, paid, took the test, got results, applied for my visa, got on the plane. Boom. Done...

If you're lazy it'd be pure hell...

1

Alan1 2 weeks ago

I am both disappointed and shocked at the previous comments directed against the American man who has written about his difficulties entering The Bahamas. They are both nasty and venomous quite unlike Bahamians. If we treated our visitors in such a manner we would have no tourist industry at all. I know several Canadians and Americans who want to come here and are winter residents. But the time frame of having to be in Nassau within five days of the test has been impossible to complete. I wonder how many of those people attacking those who have written to The Tribune in concern over the past few months have ever tried themselves to complete the entry rules. Finding a test centre where they will give a Covid19 PCR test to healthy people is difficult. If fortunate to get a test the usual waiting time for the written results is two to three days. They are also expensive varying from $200-$300 each test. Then the results have to be scanned to Nassau with the Health Visa forms which is another time consuming task for many people especially senior citizens. Then there is the uncertainty of when they will receive permission. I have been told this is often a day. The final step is to get a flight which will take you to Nassau by the fifth day of the test. If there are connecting flights then that takes even more time. So when you look at all those challenges and the very few flights available to coordinate with your time limitation people are simply not coming . Those who need hotel accommodation must place funds down along with their air ticket. The uncertainty of travel has meant many will not come. We are losing business to other southern destinations where visitors can simply bring test results with them. The delays of the Health Visa requirements have destroyed our tourism. As the writer indicated when cruise ships return there will be very few people who will want to go through the hassles required to visit The Bahamas. There are too many other places to go. Everyone should be alarmed at the steep decline in tourism. We must have changes soon for our country to survive. Rather than villifying concerned friends of our country who want to come here we should be properly listening to their concerns for our future direction as a nation. We have major challenges to overcome.

0

proudloudandfnm 1 week, 6 days ago

Covid 19 has destroyed tourism world wide. Travel requirements have not.

Dems da facks Jack...

These letters are nothing but whining. Like rude chirren. Jes hush up and take ya damned medicine...

1

proudloudandfnm 1 week, 6 days ago

We had like seven letter from Canadians whining on and on about our requirements. Then two weeks ago the Canadian gubmnet stopped all flights. Lol. They whine at us bout our restrictions then their government was like yeah? The Bahamas making it hard to travel? Hold my beer...

Lol...

0

Sign in to comment