Bahamas Bookings Plunge After Travel Warning And Recent Assault On 2 US Women

Bahamas Bookings Plunge After Travel Warning And Recent Assault On 2 US Women

Last month, the Bahamas experienced a decline in hotel and short-term rental bookings due to an increase in murders and a negative travel warning from the U.S. Embassy followed by an official travel advisory by the U.S. State Department.

Bookings for short-term rentals decreased by 7.3% and a 10% decrease in short-term rental occupancy and reservations per property in January as compared to 2023, according to AirDNA and Key Data.

According to CoStar’s STR, hotels experienced weekly occupancy declines in January of between 2% and 14%. 

While officials in the Bahamas are defending the safety, two American women were allegedly sexually assaulted

The prime minister’s office did, however, issue an official statement on January 30, assuring visitors that the country is “alert, attentive, and proactive” and that the island “remains a safe and welcoming destination.”

On February 4, two American cruise visitors were allegedly drugged and raped at a Grand Bahama island resort. Two resort employees were detained by the authorities as suspects. The FBI and local authorities are currently conducting an investigation.

Two Kentucky mothers allege they were drugged and assaulted by uniformed staff at Pirate’s Cove beach resort in the Bahamas, a claim contested by the resort, stating surveillance footage does not corroborate their story. The incident reportedly occurred on February 4 during an excursion from a Carnival Cruises ship, involving spiked drinks and an invitation to collect seashells.

‘Upon further review of the surveillance videos, the allegations made on site, and in subsequent social media posts and news stories, conflict with what the time-stamped surveillance videos contain,’ Pirate’s Cove beach resort said in a statement.

‘While there is an active police investigation into these serious allegations, we have terminated the employment of the two accused, as the behavior seen on tape by management indicates that at a minimum, they violated our zero-tolerance policy.’ Pirate’s Cove Beach Resort’s statement continued.

Although two men have been arrested, their identities remain undisclosed by Bahamian police.

Where are the most violent areas of the Bahamas?

The killings have mostly taken place in a Nassau neighborhood known as “Over the Hill.” Frank Comito, a consultant and former CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association noted that Over the Hill has a history of gang-related retaliatory violence.

Fortunately, most visitors stay in the hotels and resorts near Cable Beach and Baha Mar Blvd where there is a lot of public security surveillance. 

Based on booking data from Amadeus Market Intelligence, Nassau was among the most popular foreign travel destinations for Americans in 2023.

The Bahamas government reports that over 9 million tourists visited the islands last year.