Categorized | National News

Over-the-Hill Businesses Call Travel Advisory Unfair

The recent travel advisories have left many business owners dismayed as recently the U.S Department of State issued a level two advisory for The Bahamas, warning U.S Citizens to “avoid the area known as Over-the-Hill, south of Shirley Street.

The Bahama Journal spoke with long established Over-the-Hill business owners of  Mortimer’s  Candies and Base Road Wholesale Liquor about their sentiments on the advisory.

Mortimer’s Candies General Manager, Cayle Mortimer said, “I think it’s a negative tone,  because I don’t feel that it is warranted.  If you go to any other country there would be crime.

“As far as Arawak Cay is concerned,  I don’t see it being a problem, especially with the Police Station being there.

“The Over-the-Hill businesses, I feel that we are somewhat neglected by the Tourism market,  because many of the tourists don’t make it to us (Mortimer’s) because the Taxis don’t come and they encourage people  not to venture into certain places.

“Yes, we do have crime which is everywhere in the world, but I think we are being targeted at this point,” said  Mr. Mortimer.

When asked what has contributed to the negative stigma of Over-the-Hill over the years, Mr. Mortimer said, “ as a family business in 1928 and from the early forties,  its residence has been on top of the hill East Street.  During this time, there were many different businesses thriving, but it was more family oriented.

“The families are not families anymore.  It’s not a close knit circle it used to be.  The neighbourhood used to be the family rather than just the household and that is what society needs to get back to,” Mr. Mortimer  stated.

He  strongly  feels this down fall in family has greatly contributed to the uptick in crime.

Spending the last forty four years on Nassau Street, Base Road Wholesale Liquors owner George Robinson Jr. told The Journal, “Tourists play an important role as customers to me.

“I have a lot of Taxi drivers that bring tourists to my establishments and they are elated when they come,  because the report we get from them is that they don’t want to stay downtow.  They want that Over-the-Hill experience,” Mr. Robinson said.

He continued, “When they come to my establishment, they like to mix and mingle with the locals. Crime over the hill is not what people think, especially when it comes to the tourist.

“That advisory that was put out over us was not fair,  because every country has a crime problem.  We are still fortunate though, most of our crime problem is with the locals, and they don’t interfere with the tourists.

“I’ve been all over the world and everyplace I go, there is a crime problem.”

In response to the travel advisory, Tourism Minister Dionsio D’Aguilar said recently that the Bahamas has nothing to worry about and although there is petty crime.

While  the  advisory may not have a direct effect on Over-the-Hill businesses, business owners are still concerned that  The Bahamas has been targeted  unfairly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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