Everything You Need To Know About The Bahamas Travel Advisory
By DeAnna Taylor
The U.S. State Department issued an updated travel advisory Tuesday for those traveling to the Bahamas. The latest announcement calls for travelers to exercise “increased caution” due to crime.
While the advisory remains at Level 2, officials want travelers to be aware of crime occurring in more touristy areas on the island. Officials report an increase in sexual assaults, burglaries, and armed robberies across the island, including Nassau.
In addition to an increase in crime, travelers should be cautious of the lack of proper safety certifications for commercial watercraft operators, including jet ski operators. It has been reported that some commercial watercraft companies have committed sexual assault against tourists. U.S. government officials are currently prohibited from renting jet skis on New Providence and Paradise Island for these reasons.
If you have plans to visit the Bahamas soon, the State Department recommends the following:
- Exercise caution in the area known as “Over the Hill” (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, especially at night.
- Do not answer your door at your hotel/residence unless you know who it is.
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for The Bahamas.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency and medical situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
No matter where you travel, you should be cautious. Be sure to travel in a group, especially at night. Also, do not flash money and valuables while exploring.
While these are warnings, they should not stop you from visiting altogether.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.