The Bahamas are often referred as the "Switzerland of the Caribbean". This comparison is certainly appropriate since the country in1990 has banking laws, which are similar to the Swiss laws in many respects. In addition, the tax legislation is an ideal base for financial transactions. No taxes on income and capital gains have to be paid so that these favourable conditions cause that the financial transactions are the second element of the Bahamas economy and hence its one of the worlds main centre of financial transactions.
The inflation rate is at about 5%. By the fixed 1:1 relation between the Bahamian dollar and the U.S. dollar, the Bahamas are monetarily quite depending to the United States, but on the other hand, the country has got very stable monetary and economic conditions throughout the Caribbean. Since the United States are by far the largest trading country, the independence of the prices to fluctuations of exchange rates is of course a big advantage.
The gross national product of the Bahamas of 1994 was at 3165 million dollars. Slightly over 50% of it was generated by the tourism industry, on which about 55% of the working population are directly or indirectly dependent. Every year about 4.0 million tourists go to the Bahamas. Half of them are short visitors from cruise ships. According to these figures, the Bahamas has a good infrastructure in New Providence, Grand Bahama Iceland and some areas of the Abacos, where most tourists spend their holidays. 75% of the guests are from the United States.
Cash in the Bahamas, the Bahamian dollar (B$) and the equivalent U.S. dollars (U.S.$), are in a ratio of 1:1. 100 cents correspond one Bahamian dollar. In the country you can pay with U.S.$ as well as with B $. A few days before your departure, you should be careful to keep none of the B $ back home because European banks are not changing back that money. For higher amounts, it is worth it to exchange the Bahamian dollar in U.S.$. There are no export restrictions on U.S.$..