Dramatic cold spells, extreme winds, and natural disasters have punctuated the winter season, leaving many Americans seeking sunny beach destinations for spring break.
The Caribbean is often a top choice for sun-seekers, but this year, the U.S. has issued a travel advisory for two popular island destinations. The U.S. government issued a Level 2 travel advisory for both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Level 2 means travelers should “exercise increased caution” when traveling.
In the Bahamas, the US Bureau of Consular Affairs warns, “Violent crime, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assault, is common, even during the day and in tourist areas.” The advisory notes that most crime occurs on the New Providence and Grand Bahama islands, and mentions that there have been reports of jet-ski operators committing sexual assaults against tourists and that recreational watercrafts – including boat tours and rentals – are often not well maintained and many companies do not have safety certifications.
The travel advisory for the Turks and Caicos Islands, located southeast of the Bahamas, was issued due to concerns around crime. The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs states that, “The vast majority of crime occurs in Providenciales. Local medical care and criminal investigative capabilities are limited.”
Those seeking sun and sand should be cautious, and avoid the areas or services specifically noted by authorities.