State Department issues travel advisory for Bahamas due to violent crime in tourist areas

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NASSAU, Bahamas – Warning to anyone traveling to the Caribbean—the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory for the Bahamas.

Officials say anyone heading to the Bahamas should “exercise increased caution.”

The travel advisory was issued on Feb. 25 due to violent crime reports, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, even during the day and in tourist areas.

The State Department issued the following statement:

“Activities involving commercial recreational watercraft, including water tours, are not consistently regulated. Watercraft are often not maintained, and many companies do not have safety certifications to operate in The Bahamas. Jet-ski operators have been known to commit sexual assaults against tourists. As a result, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.”

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism issued a statement in response to the travel advisory, saying in-part:

“The Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is aware of the recent update to the U.S. Travel Advisory for The Bahamas. We would note that overall, their guidance to citizens remains a Level Two advisory recommending caution, but not actually urging delay or cancellation of travel plans to our islands. The U.S. has issued 208 Travel Advisories ranging from Level 1 to Level 4; The Bahamas is among 55 countries with a Level 2 advisory and we are in the company of France, Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Mexico and China. We recommend that travelers to any destination maintain awareness of their surroundings and exercise basic precautions, as they likely would in their home cities and when not on holiday.”

Find more information on the State Department’s website here.

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