Written by 5:42 pm Travel

OFF THE CHOPPING BLOCK…FOR NOW: Health visa to stay for int’l visitors; Kanoo contract under review

Cooper: I anticipate the travel health visa for international travelers will “remain for a while”

Removing travel health visa was key campaign promise of PLP

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The travel health visa for international visitors to The Bahamas will likely be in place for a while because it is “critical” for the event and advancement of tourism, in line with Tourism, Investments and Aviation Minister Chester Cooper.

Chester Cooper.

He also noted that the federal government is reviewing the contract with health visa payment processor Kanoo.

“We’ve made some changes to the travel visa process. We have streamlined the method for inter-island travel and we’re eliminating the fees on international travel for Bahamians,” said Cooper.

“For the time being, we’re maintaining the travel visa for international individuals coming to The Bahamas. We’re reviewing and going to streamline the method as best as possible.

“The information being received on the international side is critical to the event and advancement of tourism. I anticipate that that may remain for a while.

“Because it pertains to contracts, we’re reviewing the whole lot of the arrangement.”

Cooper declined to comment further on the matter, only adding: “Our focus really is restoring tourism, getting more tourists to return to our shores. That’s our primary focus over the subsequent few months.” 

Scrapping the travel health visa was a key campaign promise of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

The party was also heavily critical of Kanoo’s involvement with the travel health visa. Kanoo’s principals include Keith Davies, the Bahamas International Securities Exchange’s (BISX) chief executive; Chairman Nicholas Rees; and Chief Financial Officer Herbert Money. Amongst the corporate’s directors is Dr Nigel Lewis, the Free National Movement’s (FNM) national campaign coordinator.

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