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We need full explanation of Exuma deaths

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I hope very soon that your government and Sandals Resorts will be forthcoming with a proper explanation of the sad deaths in Exuma and what measures will be taken to prevent more deaths. It was pitiful to read yesterday’s Tribune online with your Tourism Minister really avoiding the issue and spouting out about how tourism is increasing and the forthcoming months will see increasing visitor numbers.

Here our family’s travel agencies have had three days of cancellations for The Bahamas. The coverage in the local media and internationally should have been far more seriously taken by your government. Where is the crisis management at Sandals and in government agencies?

Screaming headlines like “Go to The Bahamas and die” and “Would you want to go to The Bahamas, pay exorbitant hotel rates and end up in death?” seriously harm your already challenged tourist product.

It is already very difficult to enter your country with unrealistic and expensive rules requiring health tests and a Health Visa that no longer make any sense. Many clients coming into our agencies cannot be bothered going through all the time-consuming hassles just to come for a short holiday. Sadly we are having to book them to other destinations who are only too pleased to take bookings which formerly went to you.

Immediately you need a complete rethink about how you are handling tourism. Visitors want to travel where it is easy to enter, no hassles and a safe environment. We have sold trips to The Bahamas for fifty years, but for the past two years interest in coming to you has really fallen off not only due to the pandemic but the unfortunate assumptions on your part that tourists will still come to The Bahamas no matter how difficult you make it for them to come to you.

DAVID WILLIAMSON

Connecticut, USA

May 12, 2022.

Comments

Alan1 1 month, 1 week ago

Here is yet another excellent letter from a travel agent friend of The Bahamas. He says that he has been selling trips here for over fifty years. The tragedy at Sandals has disappeared from our news stories the past three days. We have no idea what the autopsy said or when we will be told-if ever. Surely for our ongoing tourism bookings we need to tell the world what happened and what measures will be taken to prevent another similar tragedy. Tourism is our lifeblood. Are Government officials and Sandals listening??

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Maximilianotto 1 month, 1 week ago

Apparently lots to hide. The longer this intransparency takes the more damages.

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realityisnotPC 1 month, 1 week ago

Another ridiculous, deceitful “travel agent” letter. I hope the US government will also be forthcoming with information about the hundreds of visitors to the US who die every year! The idea that people are cancelling trips because they haven’t heard the private details of these unfortunate deaths is absurd. Nobody would ever travel to the US if they worried about all the crime and violent deaths there…and there wasn’t even any foul play in this case. Quite frankly the idea that anyone still uses a travel agency to book a simple flight and a hotel stay is also laughable, as laughable as the whining complaints about “unrealistic and expensive rules”…seriously? The Bahamas gives you 3 days to get a test done…the US gives you one day, so tell me, who is being unreasonable here. If it is “so difficult” to come to The Bahamas, why are the hotels now operating at 90%+ occupancy and why are the flights so full that any seats left cost a fortune? Stop whining, stop being a hypocrite and please grow up.

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gumbolimbo 1 month, 1 week ago

The female American Tourist that passed away was a Travel Agent specializing in Sandals vacations. So yes, many people still use travel agents to arrange everything for their vacations.

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realityisnotPC 1 month, 1 week ago

Ok, then. Point taken. So if the rest of us can manage to sort out our own travel arrangements, testing where necessary, Verifly, passenger locator forms, travel health visas etc in our own time when we aren’t working and dealing with all the other stresses of life, travel agents whose full time jobs are to deal with travel related issues should find it a breeze to deal with the simple (my kids can do it themselves) requirements to come here. And why do they keep implying that our requirements are so incredibly strict when the requirements to enter their own countries are more strict?

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gumbolimbo 1 month, 1 week ago

I do agree that navigating the requirements to enter The Bahamas is easy. I have had my Travel Health Visa since 2020 and travel internationally frequently. You don't have to wait until your travel date to get the Travel Health Visa. You can apply in advance and fill in all your personal data and then 'before your travel date, get tested and upload it to your account and you're done.

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Alan1 1 month, 1 week ago

Let us face the truth. The adverse publicity concerning these deaths worldwide does not do our country any good. Another day passes and no information. It does not look very good. We are grateful for all the travel agents who have brought us bookings over many years- the letter writer for over fifty years- so rather than being critical and giving nasty comments- we should listen to their concerns with respect. They are only writing in a spirit of goodwill to Bahamians.

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Maximilianotto 1 month, 1 week ago

The Bahamas lacks professional crisis management. Cutting ribbons isn’t enough. The US President was at 9/11 site immediately.

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GodSpeed 1 month, 1 week ago

I don't believe for a second this is a travel professional but yes the deaths don't look good, I mean what the hell happened?

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Maximilianotto 1 month, 1 week ago

Whatever he was is not relevant brutal fact is he and others were killed and government ducking. Full transparency needed. This won’t go away.

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Proguing 1 month, 1 week ago

This is like with the Pfizer vaccine, they will release the findings in 75 years...

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ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

All gifts appear to have this knee jerk reaction of either hiding or disavowing any knowledge of bad news. They'll day the release until a bigger story pops up to smother it.. watch and see.

What no govt appears to understand is, noone really forgets. #baseballstadium27million?

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