Tourists appear unfazed by an advisory issued by the US Embassy, warning its citizens against venturing to certain parts of the country.
On the south coast, near Maxwell Coast Road, one of the areas highlighted by the US authorities as being unsafe, visitors from a range of countries, including the United States, indicated that for the most part they were not taking the advisory very seriously.
“It really didn’t alarm me at all. Like they said, you don’t want to go somewhere on your own late at night. It would be a pretty crazy thing to do,” said Chris Carl sarcastically.
The native of Boston, Massachusetts, who was relaxing on a beach near St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, said he had been doing the same thing for years and has never feared for his personal safety.
“I don’t really go out at night much and if I did, I would just stay local, stay in a group and just be careful,” he said.
The March 5, 2019 advisory issued on the US Bureau of Consular Affairs website urged its citizens not to visit Crab Hill, Ivy, Nelson Street, Wellington Street or Maxwell Coast Road.
A local entertainment establishment was also listed on the areas that should be avoided. The notice went on to advise, “increased caution” for the St Michael areas of Black Rock, Deacons, Carrington Village, Greenfields, New Orleans and the Pine.
Tourists from other parts of the world said the advisory, which was recently brought to their attention meant very little to them.
“For right now it has no impact . . . Barbados is no different when you’re travelling,” said Canadian visitor, Jane McKenzie who told Barbados TODAY that she and her large family took all reasonable precautions while on the island.
“As far as I know, our Canadian government hasn’t issued any advisory although we’ve been a bit removed from the news, because we’ve been on vacation.”
On the other hand she noted: “They must have a reason why they have that advisory,” but concluded that it was up to each individual to make their decisions regarding their personal safety.
“For us, it’s our first time here in Barbados and we’re already talking about returning here next year for a vacation, so it’s not having any impact on us at all,” McKenzie added.
George Busquets, a first time visitor from Ottawa, Canada was at a total loss about the US government’s motivation for issuing the advisory.
“I’m not sure what their problem is with the areas in Barbados. As we heard on the news, there were some problem areas, but we don’t know those problem areas. I have never felt unsafe. It has been a great experience,” he said.
Laraine Kernehan, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, who was vacationing with her husband said they both felt very safe.
“This is our fourth time to Barbados and we both love it and we’ve never felt untoward or unsafe or anything. It’s always been fine.
“We’re mostly in St. Lawrence Gap, but we’ve also been to Bridgetown and when we go into Bridgetown we usually stick to the lower areas rather than going deeper in and we’ve done a couple hours in Holetown and Speightstown and it has always felt fine,” Kernehan said.
Of the US advisory, she said: “I don’t suppose it would mean an awful lot, because we tend to figure out things for ourselves unless our own government really told us so.”
Other visitors said they were warned by hotel staff to keep hotel doors locked and to keep valuables safe, but told Barbados TODAY they considered such measures as “common sense stuff.”