Bahamian government revenues drop after terrorist attacks on U.S.
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) -- The Bahamas' government revenues have fallen
by $6 million as tourism plummeted after the terrorist attacks on the United
States, the prime minister said.
Compared to the same period last year, revenues fell $6 million and were
million below the projected revenues, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said in a
speech to the nation Monday night. He did not say how much the revenues were
for the first quarter of the fiscal year, which ended September 30.
Tourism had already been slow and economic growth subdued before the
September 11 attacks on the United States. Afterward, the number of visitors
arriving by plane fell by half to an average of 836 people a day, Ingraham said. He
did not give revenue figures for just the past three weeks.
"With the significant reduction in the most important source of foreign
earnings, tourism, we must realize that our spending will have to be reduced and
that we must be prepared to discipline ourselves accordingly," Ingraham said.
Those who want to exchange local currency for U.S. dollars will have to
transactions, he said, as banks hold on to foreign currency reserves. He did not
announce any rationing or economic measures, saying the government would wait
to see how the situation develops.
Last year tourist dollars pumped $5 million a day in foreign currency into
economy. Officials estimate the tourism sector accounts directly and indirectly for
as much 70 percent of total national income.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.