New Travel Alert Issued by State Department for Visitors to The Bahamas

Travel alert from the State Department for Bahamas: Police line do not cross.

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As of January 2024, The Bahamas—a hotspot for cruise lines—has already recorded a startling 18 murders.

Stunning view of the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas
Stunning view of the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas (Navin75, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

This alarming spike in crime rates has prompted the U.S. Department of State to issue urgent travel warnings, advising tourists to exercise increased caution in this popular destination.

The government agency explained the homicides as “gang-on-gang violence” that primarily affects residents. Most crimes occur in Nassau’s New Providence area and Freeport’s Grand Bahama islands. 

The US embassy’s memo states that even the Bahamas’ more touristy areas aren’t safe from armed robberies, burglaries, and sexual assaults.

Crimes have also been known to happen at all times of the day. It reads, “Murders have occurred at all hours, including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.”

This travel alert follows one issued for Jamaica in mid-January.

Traveling to The Bahamas? Here’s what is recommended

  • When visiting Nassau and Freeport, keep a low profile and be extra cautious, especially at night. 
  • Remain vigilant of your surroundings. 
  • Should you become a victim of a robbery, do not resist.
  • Plan for contingencies and emergencies.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so the embassy can contact you in case of unforeseen events.
Nassau Bahamas shore excursion accident
A boating accident near Blue Lagoon Island.

The January 26 memo also reminded tourists to be careful when engaging in activities that require commercial, recreational watercraft, including water tours. Operators may not have the proper safety certifications and use poorly maintained equipment. 

Last year, an excursion boat to Blue Lagoon Island capsized in Nassau, Bahamas. Immediately following the incident, cruise lines paused tours to the island.

Amid crime, island tourism is skyrocketing

Despite the troubling news and higher visitor taxes, tourism in the Bahamas is flourishing. Last year, the industry was anticipating up to 8 million tourists. Nearly 80%, or 6.4 million, are from visiting cruise ships.

Cruise News Today

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