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Facts on The Bahamas

Geography:
Archipelago nation of approximately 700 islands, of which 40 are populated. The islands cover an area of about 100,000 square miles.
Population:
Approximately 250,000 people. Government Parliamentary system of government. A Senate or Upper House and the House of Assembly or lower House. Gov ernment headed by a Prime Minister.

Independence:
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas became an independent nationstate on July 10,1973.

Banks:
Approximately 360 financial insti- tutions are licensed to do banking and financial trust representation in The Bahamas. The country is the leading off-shore financial centre in the world.

Medical Facilities:
Good medical facilities exist in The Bahamas. Every hotel has a doctor on call for guests. Most medical doctors are trained in the USA, Canada, Great Britain or The University of The West Indies. In Nassau, Princess Margaret Hospi- tal (Government operated) has 455 beds and Doctors Hospital (privately operated), 24 beds. In addition, there is the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre. In Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Government operates the Rand Memorial Hospital. In the Family Islands, there are 50 health centres.

Radio and Television:
The Bahamas Broad- casting Corporation is Government owned. The corporation runs Radio Bahamas and ZNSTV in color. International programs can be seen by satellite.

Currency:
The Bahamian dollar is the national currency. It Is equivalent to, and interchangeable with, the American dollar.

Transportation:
There are taxis, car rentals, buses, jitneys and private limousines available throughout the country.

Tipping:
The usual tip is 15%. Many hotels and resorts automatically add the 15% service charge to cover tips.

Telephones and Cables:
The Bahamas is linked directly with the International Telecommunications Network via a Standard "A" Earth Station and a Submarine Cable. The area code for The Bahamas is 809. All the islands in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas have access to (4, 0+, DDD and IDDD facilities using the latest State-of-the-Art telecommunications equipment. Cellular service is available covering the northern Bahamas. Plans are underway to extend the se rvice to the remaining islands of The Bahamas.

Electric Current:
Standard North American l20volt, 60cycle.

Car Rentals:
Several large rental companies have franchises in Nassau and Freeport: National, Hertz, Avis, Dollar and Budget. In the Family Islands, small private companies have rental services. Information is available at local airports and hotels.

Education:
The Bahamas has a 95% literacy rate. There are 51 schools on the island of New Providence and 159 in the Family Islands. Also, several schools of adult education offer secretarial and vocational courses. Princess Margaret Hospital has its own School of Nursing. The University of The West Indies Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management is located in Nassau at Oakes Field. The Centre offers B.Sc. degrees in Hotel Management and Tourism. The College of The Bahamas, founded in 1974 in Nassau, is the only tertiary level educational institution in The Bahamas offering a wide range of programmes leading to the Associate Degree.

Temperatures:
Month /Average: Jan. - 70, Feb. - 70, Mar. - 72, April - 75, May - 77, June - 80, July - 81, Aug. - 82, Sept. - 81, Oct. - 78, Nov. - 74, Dec. - 71.

Capital:
Nassau, located on the island of New Providence.

Other Areas:
Grand Bahama. Major city, Freeport.

Family lslands:
Eleuthera, Exuma, Abaco, Bimini, Spanish Wells, Walker's Cay, Rugged Island, Berry Island, Crooked Island, Andros, Cat Island, Mayaguana, long Island, Akilos, San Salvador, Little lnagua, Great Inagua.



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