Categorized | National News

No Tourism Fallout From Zika

Tourism numbers have not showed a decline, despite eight confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in The Bahamas.

Speaking to reporters after a joint information session with the Ministry of Health and Department of environmental Health Services, Tourism Director General Joy Jibrilu said that the numbers remain strong.

“If there was a decline our numbers would tell us, our bookings if we take a look at where we were last year in terms of our numbers certainly that’s a base line. If you see you’re falling below that and below your projections the next question is why are people cancelling if they’ve made a booking to travel to The Bahamas and they’ve canceled and your numbers are falling the next question is why.

“We have been following closely and to date thankfully we have seen no fallout in fact August was a strong month for The Bahamas surprisingly, people recognize that there is not only Zika in The Bahamas but throughout the world as well,” Ms. Jibrilu said.

In light of confirmed Zika cases here in The Bahamas, the Center for Disease Control recently issued a level two travel alert for The Bahamas.

Ms. Jibrilu is however optimistic that things will work out in the country’s favour.

Adding that continued partnership with different organizations in the region is extremely vital.

“We’re hoping at this time that information sessions such as this one and dissemination of information to the right quarters will mean we do everything we can maintain where we are now and even decrease the spread of the disease.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that the number won’t increase, but we believe a level 3 alert is highly unlikely because if you look at Florida where they have 43 confirmed cases and they’re just at a level 2, so we have a ways to go compared to other countries within the region.

“We’re working with our partners at immigration and customs not just in New Providence but our family of islands, what has been prepared for us by the Ministry of Health is a Zika information card so everyone who passes through immigration or customs is given a card and what that does is it sets out the pre-cautions and preventative measures.

“We’re definitely working with the whole region, in addition to the Caribbean Tourism Organization, you have the Caribbean Hotel Association, from the beginning we wanted to send out the same message, and travelers want to see uniformity so we’re all on the same page when it comes to that.

“Six months ago this wasn’t the problem it was now,” Ms. Jibirlu said

With several notable sporting events coming up in the next several months (Battle 4 Atlantis, Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl and World Relays) the director general said that there was no indication from organizers of perhaps moving the events outside of the country in light of the Zika Virus.

“There has been absolutely no communication to us of anyone who is having a second thought of coming to The Bahamas because of Zika. We use the Rio Olympics has been a great model for us in the sense that half a million people went there, so people can understand that there are measures they themselves can take.

‘It’s business as usual,” Ms. Jibirlu said.

She added that any additional info can be found on , as well as .


Written by Jones Bahamas

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