Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Bahamas sees further decline in tourism

Written by editor

MEDELLIN, Colombia – The U.S. recession is going to mean another year of declining tourism receipts and a stagnant economy for Bahamas, Minister of State for Finance, Zhivargo Laing, said.

MEDELLIN, Colombia – The U.S. recession is going to mean another year of declining tourism receipts and a stagnant economy for Bahamas, Minister of State for Finance, Zhivargo Laing, said.

Laing, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual meeting said tourism receipts fell 8 percent in 2008 and were likely to drop again in 2009.

“We expect that that will likely continue in the immediate term,” he said.

Asked if receipts might fall a similar amount this year, he said it would be around that “even though we do believe there are some policy things we can do that may be able to reduce that level of decline. There is nothing at the moment to suggest that we won’t continue on the decline track.”

As a result, the nation of 330,000 people with an economy of roughly $7 billion, could register no growth this year.

“We think that much like the rest of the world, the Bahamas economic outlook is dim, that things are likely to be flat to negative and that’s largely because we depend very heavily on the economic circumstances of the United States of America,” he said, referring to its recession.

Laing said that for the first time in Bahamas history it is offering an unemployment benefit.

The two phase program will cost an initial $20 million.

“Then there is a permanent phase which will involve the participants of the fund actually contributing 1 percent of their insurable wage, which is a maximum of $400 a week, to the fund. It is something that is new and will have to be monitored,” he said.

The Bahamas, relatively speaking, is one of the richest nations in the Caribbean, with a vibrant banking sector in addition to tourism.

Laing said his government does not expect to need to ask for funds from international financial institutions to shore up its economy.