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Jamaica and the Bahamas Respond to U.S. Travel Advisories

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Jamaica and the Bahamas responded to recent travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department noting increased crime in both countries.

The Jamaica Tourist Board said the crime rate against visitors to Jamaica “remains extremely low at 0.01%.”

The JTB also noted that the State Department’s update to its Travel Advisory “reaffirmed” the nation’s Level 3 designation which has been in place since 2022 and that there are “very distinctly defined areas within Jamaica that the advisory cites as having high risk for crime, so the majority of the island’s tourism product remains unaffected.”

“The island consistently ranks among the top destinations for international travel, welcoming 4.1 million visitors in 2023, including 2.1 million from the United States,” the JTB added. “Visitors can continue to come with confidence to enjoy all that Jamaica has to offer.”

Mike Lavallee, public affairs officer for the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica, said that while the advisory level did not change, the Jan. 23 update “incorporates analysis of accidents, illnesses and deaths of United States citizens and a review of health services and the medical care received when United States citizens are hospitalized.”

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism said in a statement that the Level 2 travel advisory had not changed, and the incidents described in the January 2024 U.S. Embassy crime alert “do not reflect general safety in the Bahamas, a country of 16 tourism destinations, and many more islands.

“The government of the Bahamas is implementing a robust and innovative crime reduction and prevention strategy. This comprehensive approach is informed by the latest research and successful international models, focusing on five key pillars: prevention, detection, prosecution, punishment, and rehabilitation.”

In 2023, the Bahamas welcomed more than 9 million visitors, calling the number “a significant milestone for our nation.” (https://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbean-Travel/Jamaica-and-Bahamas-respond-US-travel-advisories)

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