The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is trying to reinforce a different message following Hurricane Dorian: The majority of the country’s islands are open to tourists and they are in desperate need of them. The islands that rely heavily on tourism revenue are not down and out. They want people to know that they are open for business and invite tourists to plan trips to more than a dozen islands in the Bahamas.
The media coverage of the hurricane highlighted the destruction left in Dorian’s wake, specifically to Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, two of the country’s northernmost areas. But many of the Bahama’s most popular islands and tourist destinations were untouched by Hurricane Dorian.
According to Ellison Thompson, the tourism ministry’s deputy director general, they are struggling with trip cancellations for areas that were not affected by the hurricane. Many people assumed that is was all the Bahamas that were affected by the storm and canceled their trips as a precautionary measure. However, this false assumption is causing the country’s tourism industry to suffer greatly.
The tourism ministry says that the country is made up of over 700 islands and cays. These islands stretch for 750 miles, which is roughly the distance between Philadelphia and New York. Dorian may have struck one portion of the island but left a significant amount of the Bahamas unaffected.
In fact, many of the cruise ports, airports, and hotels located in the central, northern and southern Bahamas are open and ready for visitors. The ministry specifically recommends visitors plan trips to the following areas in the Bahamas:
- Acklins and Crooked Island;
- The Berry Islands;
- Cat Island;
- Harbour Island;
- The Exumas;
- Paradise Island;
- Long Island;
- Rum Cay;
- San Salvador.
The fact that many areas in the Bahamas are up and running does not mean others are not hurting. Revenue brought in through the tourism industry will be important in helping the islands that were damaged the most by the hurricane rebuild and recover. While many people have donated through charities and nonprofits to provide aid to the Bahamas, the income and money brought in through tourism will also be extremely beneficial.
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