Bahama entry fees are rising, again? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 30 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

There are plenty of power boat cruisers. This is not a get the sail boater fee. This is about increasing revenues and an attack on the cruising community. Power boaters are a significant part of the cruising community. Power boaters are not our enemy here.

Bimini's problems were quite different. They are primarily a fishing destination. When they changed the regulations in 2008, they required that the fee be paid every second visit - buy one visit get ONE free. It wasn't stated that way but that was the effect. As I've said before Bimini was almost destroyed after those changes but are now enjoying somewhat of a comeback because the officials are turning a blind eye to the infractions.

Spanish Cay and Treasure Cay marinas and to some extent Boat Harbour marina, sports fishing destinations are empty because of this fee structure.

The feeling in the Bahamas is that they have a monopoly on good cruising grounds in that part of the world and they can charge whatever they want. People will grumble and complain but in the end they'll come anyway. Revenues are down because there are fewer cruisers due to the down turn in the US economy and so they raised the rates.

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post #22 of 30 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

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I know for a fact that most sport fishing boats here in Miami and southern Florida do not pay the fee. It is too high for a short visit for fishing. Bimini Island does not have a custom boat nor do they want one. They are in dire straits and will take any business that comes there from the sport fisherman. The sport fisherman fly the Bahamian flag without checking in and the officials look the other way.
Like others said, they spend a lot of money on fuel, hotel and restaurants.
The cheap sailors that come spend very little money compared to these guys plus the mega yachts. They will get there money from us one way or another.
I had a chat with the Bahama officials at the Miami boat show last Feb on this very subject. That is exactly what they told me.
This seems like a security nightmare for both countries. If boats are making crossings of international borders with no clearing-in procedures, officials "looking the other way," it is an open door for smuggling and terrorism.

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post #23 of 30 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

I'm guessing that they figure that anyone for whom the fee increase is make-or-break, we're-not-coming-because-its-too-expensive, isn't someone who is going to be making a significant contribution to the local economy with their spending while they're over there.

(Agree with the security issues, though. Do they watch more closely for clearing in on the US side?)


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post #24 of 30 Old 07-04-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

There are a lot of people with the wherewithal to pay the higher fee that are offended by the increase and are planning to cruise elsewhere this year.

The Government of the Bahamas have apparently announced that they will not increase fees. They have riled up a lot of people who are now pretty cranky about the previous $300 fee. Comparisons are being drawn to the costs and benefits of other venues.

Of course not everyone will go elsewhere but in an environment of continued price sensitivity by everyone, regardless of means, I think the Bahamas have not served themselves well.

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post #25 of 30 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

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There are a lot of people with the wherewithal to pay the higher fee that are offended by the increase and are planning to cruise elsewhere this year.

The Government of the Bahamas have apparently announced that they will not increase fees. They have riled up a lot of people who are now pretty cranky about the previous $300 fee. Comparisons are being drawn to the costs and benefits of other venues.

Of course not everyone will go elsewhere but in an environment of continued price sensitivity by everyone, regardless of means, I think the Bahamas have not served themselves well.
Where are you getting any of this information? It took some effort to find any mention of the fee increase that started this thread because there has not been any official announcement. Now your saying the Bahamian Government is announcing they will not implement an increase they never announced?

The bottom line is that it would be nice to know what fees are officially in place?
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

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There are a lot of people with the wherewithal to pay the higher fee that are offended by the increase and are planning to cruise elsewhere this year.

The Government of the Bahamas have apparently announced that they will not increase fees. They have riled up a lot of people who are now pretty cranky about the previous $300 fee. Comparisons are being drawn to the costs and benefits of other venues.

Of course not everyone will go elsewhere but in an environment of continued price sensitivity by everyone, regardless of means, I think the Bahamas have not served themselves well.
Where are you getting any of this information? It took some effort to find any mention of the fee increase that started this thread because there has not been any official announcement. Now your saying the Bahamian Government is announcing they will not implement an increase they never announced?

The bottom line is that it would be nice to know what fees are officially in place?
I'm on a ton of lists, and my SSCA volunteer role results in a lot of additional e-mail traffic. If I could remember specifically where I read the roll-back I'd tell you. It was probably on either the T&T list or the Bahamas Chatter list. Across the listservs (more than the fora) there has been support for the idea of going elsewhere this year - not everyone of course, but a lot of people are deciding to give the Bahamas a pass this year. Mark and Diana Doyle ( OnTheWaterChartGuides ) for example are planning to cruise the Florida Keys this year instead of going to the Bahamas. I know they are not alone. Their decision is a quiet protest, not financially driven.

One of the challenges of cruising the Bahamas is that there are often disconnects between Nassau and the smaller islands. What you pay in Bimini can easily be different from what you pay at GTC or in Nassau. It takes a while for everyone to catch up with any official position.

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post #27 of 30 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

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This seems like a security nightmare for both countries. If boats are making crossings of international borders with no clearing-in procedures, officials "looking the other way," it is an open door for smuggling and terrorism.
It has been like that since the Christopher Columbus days. The Bahamas have an interesting history in this regard. So nothing new here.

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One of the challenges of cruising the Bahamas is that there are often disconnects between Nassau and the smaller islands. What you pay in Bimini can easily be different from what you pay at GTC or in Nassau. It takes a while for everyone to catch up with any official position.
The officials in the out islands get the official information from the mother island all at the same time. Coconut Telegraph is a little more modern than you think. It is just that the officials in the outer island may not wish to comply with said regulations. Having talked to many officials in the outer islands they have a love, mostly hate relationship with Nassau. Most of the islands are still very independent and like it that way.

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post #28 of 30 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

It's not so bad for people who only go to the Bahamas once every year or so. It is a killer to people in Florida, who like to go a lot.

It would have been a lot better if they had figured up a discount price for a year's permit or something for people with multiple entries.

It seems like governments and businesses often subscribe to the ridiculous idea that raising prices 25 per cent has to result in 25 per cent more revenue.

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post #29 of 30 Old 07-05-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Like all things Bahamas...Never Mind...

The following from Mr. Hanna, Customs Nassau:

That the increase in fees for boaters that was implemented recently have been reverted indefinitely. As such the fees remain at $300.00 for vessels 30′ and above and $150.00 for those less than 30 feet.

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post #30 of 30 Old 07-06-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

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One of the challenges of cruising the Bahamas is that there are often disconnects between Nassau and the smaller islands. What you pay in Bimini can easily be different from what you pay at GTC or in Nassau. It takes a while for everyone to catch up with any official position.
The officials in the out islands get the official information from the mother island all at the same time. Coconut Telegraph is a little more modern than you think. It is just that the officials in the outer island may not wish to comply with said regulations. Having talked to many officials in the outer islands they have a love, mostly hate relationship with Nassau. Most of the islands are still very independent and like it that way.
The disconnect I referred to was not based on communication. *grin* As you note, civil servants outside Nassau do what they think they should, or can, and not always what they are told by Nassau.

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