My BIG Disappointment – Nassau, Bahamas

My BIG Disappointment
Nassau, Bahamas

The center of Nassau needs a urgent master plan to improve tourism. The downtown area is dirty and a plan not only for downtown improvements would be necessary. Overnight visitors and hotel guests claim the strange contrast between rich and poor neighborhoods in Nassau – this is definitely true.

There are fresh painted government buildings in pink color and next to them broken down properties, fly-blown restaurants and paint-peeling shops with bars on the windows. In no other Caribbean tourist destination will see so many signs of poverty. One even does not have to pass the Nassau, Bahamas of the 5 star Gray Cliff Hotel at Blue Hill Road or the Police Headquarters at East Street to find already widespread slums close to the port.

Outside of Atlantis, and the cruise ships, the tourism product is all but dead. The streets of Nassau tend to empty out rather early in the evening and visitors should exercise caution, especially in the slums. If you wish to visit a place in the center of Nassau at night, it is best to take a taxi to its door. Women should avoid venturing out alone after dark.

I claim bad attitudes, poor service and high prices. The dollar has a value of 50 cents in Nassau: Dinner for two, without drinks, is about $100; four people in a taxi for one mile is $20, and even the local beer, Kalik, is $34 a case. Bud is about the same – maybe a little more. We used to think the price of beer was high because of shipping and import duties, but Kalik has no duties and little shipping so what gives? Also, you can buy Kalik much cheaper in the States than it is home country…..hmmm. I would say they charge $34 simply because they can. Now who gets the extra profit? Brewery or retailer?

There are a lot of things wrong in the Bahamas. Food is very expensive too. Within the last three years, there was a high increase in prices that you have to pay in restaurants. American pizza and Kentucky Fried Chicken is unbearably expensive. And you hardly can enjoy the local food. So do not wonder if Americans do what Bahamians do anyhow: You see more and more people schlepping pounds of food around the airports.

I honestly agree with a National Tourism Quality Assurance Survey which revealed that bad experiences had prompted a large percentage of tourists to say they are never coming back to the Bahamas and they would not recommend the Bahamas to friends and family members.

Sorry if the truth hurts.

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