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June 30, 2015

Comments

a

One of the first things countries like the Bahamas need to face is the reality vs. the perception.

You say "Despite an inefficient, government-operated and expensive product, the island has a lot to offer" about Cuba, yet reality says otherwise. A quick trip to sunquest.ca gives a 1 week Bahamas vacations (13 Dec) as C$2066 for 3.5 star Breezes, vs C$935 for a 4 star or C$1055 for a 5 star. While the star ratings may or may not be equivalent, don't fool yourselves a lot of Canadians go to Cuba and enjoy it because it is cheaper than certainly the Bahamas and many other Caribbean destinations.

If countries like the Bahamas want to remain relevant as a tourist destination then you are going to need to fix some recent and long standing issues:

1) safety - my brother took a cruise that stopped in Nassau back in March and the passengers were repeatedly warned not to leave a small area near the dock because it was unsafe. It is unlikely given an experience like that will encourage any of those passengers to travel to the Bahamas.

2) treatment of gays/lesbians, and gay marriage. There is a danger, with the Castro daughter pushing it, that Cuba will be more modern on this issue than the Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean, which could lead Cuba to cornering the gay marriage market as well as the market for a group of friends going on holiday where one or more of the group is LGBT (an increasing occurrence among the younger generation where the groups mix, as demonstrated by the decline of LGBT bars and neighbourhoods in the western world as the LGBT population intermixes).

larry smith

You are right about inclusive vacations, and about the deterioration of the port of Nassau. My comment was based on a visit to Havana a few years ago. I tried to book half a dozen hotels online and got no response. It took weeks to get a booking from the Havanatur office in Nassau. The Spanish-owned hotel in Havana was costly and the food most places was inedible. And the Cubana Airways flight was in a windowless ex-Russian military transport. There was still plenty of pluses though.

Patrick Thomson

There is so much more the Bahamas can offer tourists by way of making the present sites such as the various forts more interesting, have some entertainment by the docks for those coming off cruise ships, use the tour destinations we have to more advantage - the Retreat Gardens and the Botanic Gardens for example. Whatever is to be done has to be driven by Government and the Ministry of Tourism - not words but actions. Under the present situation I do not see this happening and the Bahamas is going to struggle further. I read today that Baha Mar has gone into Chapter 11 - what is the significance of this as it cannot be good for the tourist industry. Members of the Government must stay at home to sort out the Bahamas rather than travelling all over the world. The tourist industry is our lifeblood and cannot be left to chance. Cuba is a very large threat to our wellbeing.

a

Carnival Cruises has announced their first (small) entry into the Cuba cruise market to start next May.

The clock is ticking for the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries.

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