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|Bahamas Seen As A Safe Haven|
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|Posted by:||May 21st 2003, 06:27:24 pm|
|Bluestars||The Bahamas is indeed a safe haven for vacationers, especially the family islands like Eleuthera. There are two reasons: (1) Of course everyone who gets to Eleuthera has passed all the tight security clearances, etc. But at least equally as important, if not more important, (2) everyone in various areas of Eleuthera knows everyone else - and when visitors are there they know them or know of them too. So, I believe it would be next to impossible for any unsavory terrorist type person to be on Eleuthera because the word would get around immediately and things would be taken care of. So, vacationers, come to Eleuthera! Nothing bad is going to happen here. It's paradise on earth!!!|
|Posted by:||May 19th 2003, 12:36:10 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||By Rogan M. Smith of the Bahama Journal [www.jonescommunicationsltd.com]
While the numbers of Americans on foreign travel sprees are expected to decline this year because of a string of world tensions, the Bahamas has an ideal advantage. It's closer to the United States than many other vacation destinations, a key deciding factor for potential visitors from the U.S.
Most Americans would not dream of vacationing in the conflict ridden Middle East these days and few are venturing to Far Eastern countries, like China and Japan, which have been battling the deadly SARS virus. Anti American sentiments make overseas travel risky business more than ever.
Those anxieties have forced many Americans to vacation either in their home country or at least very near to it.
The choice was clear for Harlene Duda from Baltimore, Maryland who was on her seventh trip to the Bahamas.
"We had never travelled [further] overseas and all the airports are still hard going through," she said, "You have a lot of security here. But once you get here, it's worth the trip and the aggravation."
Beaming about her vacation experiences in the Bahamas, Duda said it's the people and the native atmosphere that have made her a loyal visitor.
Katrina Glebova, a resident of Boston, Massachusetts is comfortable with the internal security measures that Bahamian law enforcement authorities are maintaining in the aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks in the U.S. almost two years ago. Glebova is a newlywed on honeymoon.
"We don't think anything will happen in this place of paradise," she said of the sun-kissed island archipelago that thrives on tourism. "I feel safe here."
It's much the same story from Mark Mellnick, a New Hampshire native. Preoccupied with his vacation experience, Mellnick said the acts of terrorism on September 11, 2001 are the farthest things from his mind.
"I've been to a lot of places like London, and all over the U.S and Scotland. I feel perfectly comfortable walking the streets here, I have no problems whatsoever with the safety," he said.
Nonetheless, increasing anti-American sentiment from extremists have heightened worries about personal safety. But Dawn Clarke, from New York has shelved her anxieties for now, especially since nations in the Caribbean region have not been targeted by international terrorists.
"We chose to come here for vacation because we really do think it's safe. We think the West Indies on the whole is a safe place to be. The people here are also very friendly, so that helps," she said.
The President of the Bahamas Hotel Association, Jeremy MacVean shares the same sentiment as many other tourists, explaining that the Bahamas is perceived as a safe haven. He said many tourists choose to stay close to home in the event that emergencies arise and flights are cancelled.
"Unlike September 11, 2001 which was totally out of the blue and totally unexpected, this Iraq war situation had been anticipated for six months," he said. "People who had made their plans figured they would carry on with their plans. They chose to fly down to the Bahamas, far away from all of this hostility that is happening."
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