The prime minister of Bahamas has aired his concern about rising crime in the country.
Prime minister, Perry Christie, said that the increasing incidences of crime could have a bearing on tourism in the nation, to the extent that there was no bigger threat to the future viability of tourism in the region than crime. He was addressing a group of delegates at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. The prime minister observed that the escalation in criminal violence, robbery and theft within the respective jurisdictions of the region has become a grave concern for the authorities. He was also concerned about the ripple effect that crimes could have on tourism, which is a significant revenue earner for the state.
The prime minister, who is also a former tourism minister, said that the problem did not only manifest itself in crimes against tourists. He said that stigmatisation of entire nations or tourism destinations as crime-ridden enclaves was destructive and self-defeating.
Christie said, ‘The combination of travel advisories against certain destinations, coupled with media publicity in the major markets discouraging tourism travel to certain destinations, is a trend that is bound to not only continue, but to accelerate and widen unless we manage to bring criminal activity down, way down, in our respective countries all across the region.’
The PM also called on concerned authorities to continue to aggressively market locations in the region as friendly places for vacation experiences. He assured that policing would be increased in order to ensure the safety of tourists.