U.S. Reissues Travel Advisory For This Caribbean Country Due To A Crime

The US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs reissued its Travel Advisory for Trinidad and Tobago warning Americans to reconsider visiting the country due to crime and exercise increased caution due to terrorism and kidnapping.

According to the latest review published on July 2, the two-island country hasn’t shown signs of improvement so the agency decided to leave it ranked at Level 3.

Crime situation on the ground is particularly concerning in Tobago, the smaller of the two islands.

Referring to the island’s 11 murders committed so far in 2024, Chairman of the island’s Business Chamber Martin George said that citizens are enduring an “enveloping storm of crime and violence.”

“While the hurricane [Beryl] would have spared us, we were not spared the scourge of the continuing storm of crime and violence in Tobago, as we recorded our 11th murder during our preparations for the hurricane.”

George also lamented that these “absurd” murders are threatening the livelihood of locals and their beloved tourism industry, on the same day that the US government advised its citizens to consider the potential dangers of visiting this country.

The government site also listed some areas in Port of Spain, the country’s capital, where US officials are forbidden to come. These include Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite and the interior of the Queen’s Park Savannah.

After dark, US personnel are not allowed to visit downtown Port of Spain and Fort George Overlook, in addition to all beaches.

This is actually an issue for American travelers since consular assistance will be limited if you get in trouble in any of the places officials are not permitted to travel to.

Unfortunately, violent crimes such as murder, sexual assault, home invasion, robbery, assault, and kidnapping occur frequently, says the US government. 

Most of these crimes are drug trafficking and gang-related. Terrorist attacks in tourist hotspots and governmental venues can also happen at any time. 

“Gang activity such as narcotics trafficking is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related,” the advisory reads.

Having a safe trip is still possible if you implement a number of key precautions. For instance: 

  • There’s no point in physically resisting any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local news for breaking events and make your tourist plans accordingly.
  • Only use ATMs located inside banks or shopping malls.
  • Pay special attention when driving or walking after dark, including in tourist areas. 
  • Do not trust people you meet through dating apps or social media platforms.
  • There is no need to display signs of wealth. Don’t make yourself a target.

The final important recommendation will always be to consider registering in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive updates about the country’s situation and make it easier for authorities to locate you in an emergency.