0

COOPER: WE’LL FIGHT BACK ON CRIME FEAR – Two campaigns are launched to counter international reports

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation Chester Cooper.
Photo: Dante Carrer

DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation Chester Cooper. Photo: Dante Carrer

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

TOURISM Minister Chester Cooper yesterday announced the launch of two campaigns geared towards re-shaping the narrative about The Bahamas following negative global reports about crime in the country.

Mr Cooper said the campaigns, “Tourism is Everybody’s Business” and “I Love The Bahamas”, were launched yesterday and will run until June.

He said the launch underscores the government’s commitment to protecting the country’s reputation and represents a comprehensive approach to changing the current narrative about The Bahamas.

The move comes after the United States and Canada issued travel advisories for The Bahamas in response to the high murder rate.

Yesterday, Mr Cooper said the negative international reports represented only eight per cent of the online coverage about the country and are losing momentum.

“One interesting data finding is that the coverage and discussion of the advisory in The Bahamas was in many instances intertwined with coverage of the US Travel Warning about Jamaica,” he added.

“The level of engagement online and through news outlets globally for Jamaica surpassed that of The Bahamas by 43 per cent. As I said earlier, most tourist destinations carry at least a level two US advisory, as we do, which indicates that the US government advises visitors to take precautions, but Jamaica is at level 3, which means that the US State Department advises its citizens to reconsider travel to the destination.”

He said the government knows that concerns about a regional neighbour can cause a domino effect and is working to educate its international partners and travel audiences.

Meanwhile, efforts to increase travel appetite to The Bahamas and push the message that the country is a safe place are continuing, he added.

“Through strategic partnerships, targeted placements, and captivating content, we aim to not only mitigate the impact of crime-related concerns but also position The Bahamas to continue growing,” he said.

“We are determined to turn a negative into a positive, and we are determined that everyone in tourism-related businesses is part of the turnaround. There has been anecdotal data about a drop-off in visitors participating in local activities and some softening in booking trends. We must and will arrest and reverse that.”

Mr Cooper said his ministry’s hard work is already bearing fruit, with early data showing promising numbers.

He said officials have already seen an uptick in occupancy projections at the country’s largest resorts for the first three months this year when compared to 2023.

Tourism arrivals at the Lynden Pindling International Airport are also up by double digits, he said.

“Let me make it clear that we acknowledge that some pockets of stakeholders reporting a fall-off in activity and softening of bookings and were working with them hand and hand to improve what they are experiencing,” he added.

“We want to reassure the public that we are working diligently to re-stimulate interest and redirect traffic with our tourism ambassadors and the tourism development corporation, and while the recent travel advisory has undoubtedly posed challenges, it is incumbent upon us to navigate these turbulent waters with grace, resilience, and sobriety.”

Comments

immigrant 3 months, 1 week ago

Shouldn't reducing the rate of crime be the first step? Stop the flow of blood in the streets and there will be nothing to report.

2

John 3 months, 1 week ago

There has been an almost two week lull in murders. Is that not an indication of progress?

1

bahamianson 3 months ago

Lol, Comical. If we have 5 inches of rain on one day in January is that indicitive of the amount of rain monthly? No it is not. A two week lull means nothing .

1

John 3 months ago

America is now warning its citizens to stay close to home and prepare for a cyber attack and a possible nuclear attack and you here trying to upset the peace and tranquillity if Tge BaHAMAS???

0

AnObserver 3 months ago

He's basically Chief Wiggum holding up a sign that says "Move along, nothing to see here".

0

John 3 months, 1 week ago

Agreeing with the minister that it wasn’t the US State Department’s advisory on travel to The BaHAMAS that created the stir and panic, but the erroneous and exaggerated reporting in the matter, , by foreign news media and especially US news agencies. The Stare Department has the responsibility to keep all Americans safe and hundreds of these advisories are issued every year, hopefully when the advisory is downgraded, the media beill make a likewise frenzy and let the world know ‘The Bahamas is a safer place to visit.’ AND if there is questions about whether the rape actually occurred on Grand Bahama, government must continue to be the force behind a speedy and thorough investigation and ensure the results are made public and letting the chips fall where they may. . . AND whilst the fallout from the exaggerated and erroneous reporting may have appeared more disastrous than it really was, there are several factors that work in favor of The Bahamas and these factors will multiply the results of any governments’s effort to minimize the results of the media attack on The Bahamas. Firstly, many visitors to this country are repeat visitors. Some come here annually or even more often. So they have first hand information on what is going on in the country and they know The Bahamas is relatively safe and even more safe for visitors. . Secondly many visitors decide to come here by ‘word of mouth’ recommendation. And they are told where to go and where to avoid. And whilst cruise directors tell some passengers ‘it’s more safer to stay on the ship’ for their own selfish and greedy motives, the visitors get the information that it is ok to go to the beach or to Potters Cay or to the Fish Fry and to other popular places. Don’t travel alone and stay in groups when possible. . AND because of rising tensions in The Middle East and the possibility of wars escalating in that area, Americans are being advised , not only to avoid that area, but to stay closer to home. How much can Americans be closer to home than in The Bahamas? Say yes, Tal.

0

bahamianson 3 months ago

Whoever controls the news, controls the minds .

0

bobby2 3 months, 1 week ago

Actually, due to concern about crime, visitors will still come by air & ship, however will stay on resorts property or ship. Travel away from safety of your accomodations assets will be avoided by travellers.

1

John 3 months, 1 week ago

Do you know how many Bahamians travel abroad and they still venture out? Not in the high risk areas but they fulfill the purpose of the trip, whether it’s shopping, business or pleasure. Do you recall when the car rental plates were different from the regular plates in Florida and thugs started targeting the rentals and robbing tourists? Band several tourists got shot and killed? And so Florida decided to change the rental plates to look similar to the regular plates. And do you remember even more recently when there was a scam at the Car Rental Agencies in Florida. The agent would assign a vehicle to you and apparently give a duplicate key to someone else. They would follow you and when you made your first stop, they would use the duplicate key to enter your vehicle and take your belongings. Bahamians alone lost hundreds of thousands in cash and belongings. The car rental had to change to the current procedure where the customer randomly selects a vehicle then leaves the parking lot. Then there was the incidents where thieves were using scanners to unlock vehicles, not unlike they do to scam credit cards and raid the funds. Since tgere was no forced entry to tge vehicle, unsuspecting victims did not know they were robbed until the opened the trunk to retrieve their belongings. Crime is an ever evolving monster and it is universal. Caution is the key

0

bahamianson 3 months ago

How about fighting crime at home and you will not have to worey about international news. Didn't you say that the crime rwport was not affecting our tourism?

1

John 3 months ago

CRIME does not affect tourists in the Bahamas. It is tge fear of crime that does. And the fear of crime is perpetrated by irresponsible and overzealous media that print tales , erroneous or sensationalized reports on crime. Like the three media groups that reported that 18 tourists have been murdered in the Bahamas this year. This could be no less than intentional as No Caribbean country has recorded 18 murders of foreign persons this year. And they know that even though they may retract and apologize, tge damage has been done.

0

John 3 months ago

The Tribune got off easy when they went to war with the PM after he asked them to tone down their sensationalism on crime reporting. And even jinxed a PM wanna be but barely hopeful opposition leader to call the PM a dictator. If they had to deal with Sir Lynden or Hubert Ingraham in this issue, the fight would last until the general election. And efforts would be made to dismantle the monopolistic dictatorship Tge Tribune has on news reporting ir print media especially in The Bahamas. Let’s bet!

0

rosiepi 3 months ago

If this government spent as much time doing their jobs as they do flapping their gums and promising and lying this situation might could be avoided.

Two campaigns likely very costly, to cloak the real data on crime in the Bahamas is ludicrous but so believable in this country! And folks lining up to place blame on anything except where it belongs- the RBPF and this gov’t who are more invested in avoiding their sworn responsibilities, and working corruptly with their fellows to add to that ill gotten nest egg.

Blaming the press because they dare report these crimes? Call for action on blatantly corrupt behavior? The police got caught doing they’re usual schtick of coercing victims not to go forward with filing a police report.(esp now with those crime ## going up despite those best efforts)

The girls story hasn’t wavered, they were told they’d be delayed and miss their ship departure, if they pursued chgs, they lied when they said they’d called the US Embassy. They lied about the rape kits. They lied about calling in the FBI. They never reported that tourists had been raped, they and their little friends featured in these pages…started lying and spreading rumours as soon as it was learned all of the above was now part of the news cycle in the US, then the world. And there were pictures of their bruises, the drug testing. A flood of pictures of different women not the victims dancing on bars, having sex etc..suddenly flooded social media.

Johnnie the mouth here hoped Trump’s huge judgment meant the Bahamas could sue for big bucks, but he got it backwards, and he’d better be ready when/if those gals come back for his hide!

0

John 3 months ago

The garbage you are spewing doesn’t even deserve comment, except to say it is the same thing tge PM was talking about se sensationalism, half truths and in your case outright filthy lies! Obviously the truth is not in you and I stand by any and everything I posted in this forum. You don’t scare anyone with your big, bold lies and psycho-surreal rankings. Obviously the plot to crash tge Bahamian tourist product and its economy failed. Your gals didn’t realize there were 16 cameras watching over them. And they signed a waiver saying they refused medical care and to take a rape test. So let them com. The days when people like you can put rallies of rape on innocent people and get away with it are long gone. Why you so bitter? They raped you too ay? Long live The Bahamas!

0

John 3 months ago

PS the girls story hasn’t wavieref, it disappears. And the FBI doesn’t need an invitation to investigate any crimes against American citizens. The Bahamian police reached out to them as demonstration of their willingness to cooperate. Why are you so bitter again?

0

TalRussell 3 months ago

Yes Honourable Comrade Minister ...But wasn't it the Advisory No 2 Level with Grand Bahama added--- was Issued via crime data compiled by the US Bahamas Embassy --- Travel Advisories at Levels 2 - 4 provide clear reasons for the advice, are to use common risk indicators, and state specific actions U.S. citizens should take if they decide to "travel to or reside in that country. --- Being the US Bahamas Embassy is stationed locally 24/7, they do have close knowledge about The Colony of Out Islands crime matters --- Yes?

0

John 3 months ago

Well even the government said they weee caught off guard with Grand Bahama being included in the travel advisory upgrade. But like you said. The State Department have personnel on the ground 24/7 and maybe they have intelligence no one else have and since the general perception is that the Bahamas government is corrupt and so is the Bahamian police then they justify their stance. And despite the name calling and the nastiness that is published by blogger in this forum, 95% of Bahamians understand the importance of the tourist dollar and even without putting a monetary value in the mix. No average Bahamian want to see anyone injured or harmed in this country, much less killed. And many pray day any night for the murders to end.
. . Watching the report of the shootings in Kansas City yesterday, first the mayor ( Black) saying how they went through the drills to ensure that everyone was kept safe. And every eventuality was secure. EIGHT HUNDRED POLICE OFFICERS in uniform covered the general area of the parade. There were also undercover officers and sniffer dogs and sharp shooters on the roofs of strategic buildings. But not only did the enexpected happen with 22 people shot, one dead and twelve being children, but he and his family were caught up in the violence.

. Then there was tge chief of police, ( White) . Passionate but more emotional. And she echoed’ the shootings should never have happened. We did all the preparations, took all the precautions and this was supposed to be a celebratory event but look how it ended. Personally I stay from tourist oriented areas and most Bahamians that I know that are not involved in the industry do the same. I had friends that took their boss’s boat to Florida for servicing. When persons on another yacht saw three Black men in a 50 foot boat, they call tge authorities. And not only did the captain of the boat have to produce documents but had to call his boss to verify the documents. The point is I have no problem with apartheid if it means more peace of mind and safety. But Bahamians will not allow their rights to be trampled on and more of their rights to be taken away with false reporting and fake accusations

0

trueBahamian 3 months ago

Why are we spending money we don't have on campaigns to spin a positive image? The best idea is to spend that money on addressing crime. Is he serious? He's playing numbers and doing PR. Cut the nonsense and fix the underlying problem. As some folks commented yesterday, you want to make the tourists feel safe while they are here and do our best to ensure that but what about the people that live here. Shouldn't the taxpaying citizens be entitled 5o a safe country?

It galls me that the gross incompetent politicians spend so much time spewing statements that have zero benefit for the country. We have a crime issue. We have put of control government spending. We have a civil service that needs to be cut in half. Put in place a crime plan that actually shows you know what you are doing. Put in place austerity measures. Run the country instead of pretending to do so.

0

John 3 months ago

Y’all watch this: two grandpa’s fighting for the presidency of the United States. The papacy will be split in two after the ailing Pope gives up the ghost..within a matter of months. The king of England will be lucky if he sees June but disinherits one of his sins and their children because she is black and despite him sweethearting his current wife while he was married to his sons mother. Hey Hollywood

0

John 3 months ago

The US is now telling its citizens to prepare for a cyber attack or even a military strike on US soil. Because if increasing tensions in the Middle East and Putin’s threats to put nuclear weapons in outer space. They are saying Russia May use these weapons to destroy US satellites or launch a direct attack on US soil. Is this for real or just fear mongering.

0

Sign in to comment