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  #1  
Old 07-02-2013
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Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Got an email from friends, one who is still traveling in the Bahamas, who have passed along the rumor of whopping increases in Bahamian entry fees.

Current rumor is that Bahamian entry fees will soon be increase to $400 for boats greater in length than 35 ft. and $250 for boats less than 35 ft. Anyone on this board confirm this?
Current $300 fee for ≥ 35ft. has definitely lowered the transient boater population for the past few seasons, a 25% increase should make anchoring in the 'usual' harbors etc. less a problem.

Can anyone else confirm these massive fee increases?

I no longer visit the T&CIs because of their ridiculous short term entry fees. I maybe will bypass the the Bahamas entirely also if their fees rise to level of extortion.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

We are hearing the same thing in Miami.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Ouch... and that's coming from one who still only pays the lower fee for a smaller boat...

Sounds like they're pretty confident Cuba won't be opening up to Americans anytime soon, that's probably our best hope at this point of keeping these increases remotely in line with 'what the market will bear'...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichH View Post

Current $300 fee for ≥ 35ft. has definitely lowered the transient boater population for the past few seasons, a 25% increase should make anchoring in the 'usual' harbors etc. less a problem.
I'd like to see the real numbers on that, I'd suggest that the economy in general since '08 has more to do with any downturn in recent years... In my observation, cruisers seemed to have 'adapted' to the last increase pretty quickly...

I think they're reacting to the impression I have, that people continue to show up in bigger, and more expensive boats, with each passing year... I doubt they're too worried if the diminishing percentage of people like myself, who come in on modest boats, rarely stay in marinas or spend any real serious money, and who might take a pass on the Bahamas due to a $100 increase...

I don't even want to think about what the Tipping Point might ultimately be for me, but $250 for a few months down there still isn't gonna keep me away... If any place is worth that kind of fee, it's still the Bahamas, for me...


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Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

great I love the idea of spending $400 so that I can like most people I know have things stolen
While in the Bahamas. if they did more to protect us from the criminals I would say no prob to the increase but we know that will not happen so I will not revisit any more
ps for all you English majors my English lit sucks so sorry for not being able to write like Hemingway
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

I am somewhat ambivalent about this. Tourism potential is the main (only) resource that the Bahamas has. In the same way that Canada sells oil and Australia sells coal, it is a way to provide income for the country. If the price of the resource becomes too high then people have the option of not buying or buying elsewhere.
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Old 07-02-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by killarney_sailor View Post
I am somewhat ambivalent about this. Tourism potential is the main (only) resource that the Bahamas has. In the same way that Canada sells oil and Australia sells coal, it is a way to provide income for the country. If the price of the resource becomes too high then people have the option of not buying or buying elsewhere.
Very true. The $300 is already a high price, especially for those just spending a few days, sportfishermen and the like. This may well convince many sailors to just stay in the US rather than pay this fee and then go through the hassle of clearing back into the US. Governments sure know how to stifle business.
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

I guess to people who only travel between the US and the Bahamas it seems extortionate, but some countries charge a lot more. Our fees in Oz were more than $500 and Panama and Ecuador were even more (and that is mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos are (much) more). At least the process in the Bahamas is straightforward. In some countries you have to hire an agent and deal with numerous officials- customs, immigration, health, biosecurity, port captain ... I am probably missing some.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lv2bsailing View Post
great I love the idea of spending $400 so that I can like most people I know have things stolen
While in the Bahamas. if they did more to protect us from the criminals I would say no prob to the increase but we know that will not happen so I will not revisit any more ---
I've been going to the Bahamas for about 15 years and never had anything stolen. I've never locked anything unless I was in Nassau, which is a big city so I lock things like I do in Miami.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

Last March, I actually wrote the Bahamian Minister of tourism, not to complain about the entry fee but to complain that we as cruisers see zero indication that any of this money is ever used to improve cruising. For example there are few aids to navigation for pleasure craft. The few aids they have privately owned and maintained. There are old ones which are now hazards to navigation. The light at Little Harbour in the Abacos has not worked since the hurricane (no idea which hurricane but it's almost a year at best) There is not a single current station in the Bahamas. The best one can do when you want to transit a cut is guess. I've transited both Current Cut and Dothan Cut against the flow because we got it wrong. I was told that it would be presented to the Navigation Committee and they would look into it. So far nothing.

Last year I talked to Troy of Harbour View Marina in Marsh Harbour and the marina operators are very aware of the negative impact increasing fees will have. The main influence on the reduced number of cruisers going to the Bahamas has been the US economy and that has hit the Bahamas very hard. It's always a juggling act. The bottom line is you want to increase or maintain revenue. So if your customer base is down raise the rates but this will further reduce your customer base and in the end you could loose big time. I've heard that Bimini suffered tremendously after the last increase.

There is also a certain smugness within the Bahamas - where else are you going to go? Everything else is too far or forbidden.

I'm not so much against the fees. I just like to see something for my money.

PS here's the email address. CSands@bahamas.com
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Last edited by ebs001; 07-03-2013 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 07-03-2013
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Re: Bahama entry fees are rising, again?

I've been to the Bahamas countless times, by many modes of transport. Showing up in a private yacht is remarkably more expensive than by aircraft. Even private aircraft.

I didn't understand it at first, but then it dawned on me and Jon just stated it above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
.......I doubt they're too worried if the diminishing percentage of people like myself, who come in on modest boats, rarely stay in marinas or spend any real serious money.....
Cruisers often arrive fully self sufficient and self contained. The Bahamian economy receives little benefit by comparison. When a private aircraft lands, the hotels and restaurants all get business. I think the cruising fee could be more fair and consider short term layovers or weekend tours, but I acknowledge that many would abuse it and overstay, if there were a cheaper option.

I hate the tourist islands of Grand Bahama and Freeport. Why any cruiser would go to either is beyond me. Andros, Abaco, Cat Island, Long Island, Exuma, and more are far far nicer. The more remote you get, such as Cat and Long Islands, the less crime too. Nearly none existent really.
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