Bahamas protests new US law

Havana, October 24 (RHC-ACN)-- Prime Minister Perry G. Christie of Bahamas called on Caribbean nations to jointly protest a new US law that will seriously affect the flow of tourists to this region.

"We are very worried about this measure that will come into effect on January 8, 2007," the Bahamian PM said at the opening ceremony of the 29th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference taking place in Freeport.

The law requires all American citizens returning to the US by air from neighbouring countries to carry a valid US passport.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) General Secretary Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace called the measure discriminatory, and told Prensa Latina that several Caribbean tourist destinations will be damaged by this measure that will extend to passengers travelling in cruise ships, as of June 2009.

The CTO general secretary also noted that the announcement was made by the US government just as winter holiday bookings are reaching their peak and doesn't give travellers enough time to act accordingly.

It is estimated that the Caribbean could loose as much as 180,000 jobs linked to the travel and tourism industries and up to $2.6 billion USD in revenue as a result of this new law.

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