Too hard to get to The Bahamas – Bahamas Tribune

Posted: November 29, 2020 at 5:48 am

EDITOR, The Tribune.

I have operated a travel agency in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for over 45 years. We have consistently and with enthusiasm sent clients regularly to both Nassau and the Family Islands during all this time. Our family have regularly visited and my wifes family now own a vacation property. It was always easy to book people on the flights from our area with the easy connection through Toronto. The Bahamas was the prime destination for our clients. especially in the winter.

Now everything has changed not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic but your Government making it so difficult to enter that our clients are being forced to go to other southern destinations. Today I have read about the United States travel warnings in your edition. Some of our clients are wary about travel but most of them are willing to travel taking precautions as necessary. However they simply do not have the time to go through all the hassles required for your Health Visa and the unworkable five-day requirement to get to Nassau after the test.

I have discussed these problems with other local agencies. The Bahamas has lost nearly all interest from prospective visitors. People do not have the time to complete the new rules is the main comment. It takes hours to get the test, pick the results up from the health centres, scan them to Nassau and await confirmation about travel. The Health Visa has created so much uncertainty. It is so detrimental for The Bahamas to discourage the regular yearly visitors with the red tape. If they are forced to travel elsewhere they may never return.

The only viable solution to getting tourists back, if they are able to get tests, is to end the uncertainty by dropping the Health Visa and allowing visitors to bring a test result no older than seven days with them. If they do not have a proper test result they cannot board the airplane. If the Government stubbornly adheres to the current rules I feel certain that I will not have any bookings for The Bahamas. From our premier destination it now has the lowest interest. I can only hope that the Government will take these problems seriously or it will be a longterm catastrophe for the important Bahamian tourism sector. I am very concerned about the current developments.

PETER R JACOBSEN

Canada,

November 25, 2020.

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Too hard to get to The Bahamas - Bahamas Tribune

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