The US government is warning Americans that if they visit the Bahamas they could be at risk of sexual assault and violent crime

Valéria Almeida / FlickrUS government personnel are barred from visiting Nassau’s Sand Trap area because of crime.
  • The US Department of State issued a travel advisory in the Bahamas on February 25.
  • Violent crime – including sexual assault and armed robberies – is “common,” according to the department’s website.
  • Government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau. They’re also barred from using jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.
  • Fifteen other countries have the same level-two travel advisory issued against them, including Antarctica because of its unpredictable weather.

The Caribbean captured nearly 10% of all American outbound tourism last year. The Bahamas, with its 700-plus islands, sandy beaches, and attractions aplenty, is a particular darling of American tourism.

This past Monday, the US Department of State announced a travel advisory against the country. It issued a level-two warning to “exercise increased caution” in the area. There are four levels, ranging from “exercise normal precautions” to “do not travel.”

Violent crime – including sexual assault and armed robberies – is “common, even during the day and in tourist areas” according to the department travel-advisory site. The advisory says tourists should exercise caution in the “Over the Hill” area (south of Shirley Street) and the Fish Fry at Arawak Cay in Nassau, particularly at night.

“Although the family islands are not crime-free, the vast majority of crime occurs on New Providence and Grand Bahama islands,” the advisory said.

Jet-ski operators are also reportedly known to “commit sexual assaults against tourists.”

As a result, US government personnel are not permitted to visit the Sand Trap area in Nassau because of crime, and they are also not permitted to use jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.


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The State Department has level-two travel advisories in 15 countries, including popular travel destinations such as France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Those advisories mostly stem from an uptick in terrorism concerns in Western Europe.

Antarctica also has a level-two travel advisory because of “environmental hazards posed by extreme and unpredictable weather.”

No level-three advisories are presently issued. The only level-four advisory is cautioning against all travel to Afghanistan because of “armed conflict, terrorism, crime, and civil unrest.” Those who visit that country are advised by the State Department to draft a will and make funeral plans.

Read more about the travel-advisory concerning the Bahamas here.

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