EDITOR, The Tribune.
As the owner of travel agencies in northern New Jersey for many years we were always successful in sending clients to The Bahamas.
It was our most popular southern destination. However, all that changed with your introduction of harsh entry rules which grow even more unreasonable with each chaotic change. All the uncertainties and expense surrounding your Health Visa have all but dried up bookings to you. Your Tourism Minister promised the Visa would be abolished yet decided to keep it after assuming office!
The Minister and his Tourism officials are divorced from reality. In these COVID-19 times it is difficult enough to get clients to travel, but it is nearly impossible to secure bookings when the potential visitor must go through all sorts of time consuming and expensive measures to obtain the Visa. Your officials wave a magic wand demanding COVID tests within three days of travel. Even the easier antigen tests are hard to find here at the moment. There are not enough supplies.
There is no consideration that obtaining these tests takes valuable time from a visitor’s work and personal schedules and cannot be completed in time to travel. People simply do not have the time or will to go through all the hassles.
They cannot understand why they cannot enter
The Bahamas if they have double vaccination certificates which can be produced at airport check in counters.
As a result we are booking clients to many other southern resort countries where entry is much simpler. We have lost nearly all our Bahamas bound business. Stories about low vaccination rates and rising COVID numbers have also affected your business.
Disturbing news about COVID numbers on cruises has also resulted in cruise bookings collapsing.
There appears to be no common sense in all your Government travel rules. It is incomprehensible that when tourism is your major economic product your own officials stubbornly adhere to policies which are seriously affecting your economic future.
Princeton, News Jersey,
January 6, 2022.