BAHAMAS,-THE

Information about travelling to Bahamas,-The

Bahamas,-The is located in Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba

Facts about Bahamas,-The
Population307,451 note: estim
CapitalNassau
Time zoneUTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time) daylight saving time: +1hr, begins se
Location Caribbean, chain of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast of Florida, northeast of Cuba

General info about Bahamas,-The
Lucayan Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher COLUMBUS first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783. Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US and Europe, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
Languages spoken
English (official), Creole (among Haitian immigrants)
What about drugs?
transshipment point for cocaine and marijuana bound for US and Europe; offshore financial center
Ethnic division
black 85%, white 12%, Asian and Hispanic 3%
HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
3% (2003 est.)
Climate
tropical marine; moderated by warm waters of Gulf Stream
Resources
salt, aragonite, timber, arable land
Economy
The Bahamas is one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries with an economy heavily dependent on tourism and offshore banking. Tourism together with tourism-driven construction and manufacturing accounts for approximately 60% of GDP and directly or indirectly employs half of the archipelago's labor force. Steady growth in tourism receipts and a boom in construction of new hotels, resorts, and residences had led to solid GDP growth in recent years, but tourist arrivals have been on the decline since 2006 and will likely drop even further in 2009. Tourism, in turn, depends on growth in the US, the source of more than 80% of the visitors. To help offset the effect of the global economic downturn, particularly on employment, the INGRAHAM administration plans to engage in infrastructure projects. Financial services constitute the second-most important sector of the Bahamian economy and, when combined with business services, account for about 36% of GDP. However, since December 2000, when the government enacted new regulations on the financial sector, many international businesses have left The Bahamas. Manufacturing and agriculture combined contribute approximately a tenth of GDP and show little growth, despite government incentives aimed at those sectors. Overall growth prospects in the short run rest heavily on the fortunes of the tourism sector.
Environment
coral reef decay; solid waste disposal

Cities in Bahamas,-The




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