INTERNATIONAL REPORT—As Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in Cape Hatteras, NC, as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds near 90 mph, areas already affected by the storm are beginning to assess damage and, in some cases, get back to full operation.
The Bahamas Begins Recovery
Bahamian officials continue to assess the damage in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island, the two islands in the Northwest Bahamas that were devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Relief teams are currently deployed and are providing assistance to those in need.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) is urging travelers to keep and pursue their vacations to the islands that were not affected and remain open. In the Northwest Bahamas, these include the Bahamas capital of Nassau and neighboring Paradise Island, as well as Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands. The Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.
“While we are still processing the impact that Hurricane Dorian has had on our country, we must stay strong for our friends, loved ones and neighbors on Grand Bahama Island and The Abacos,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Deputy Director General Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson. “We appreciate the outpouring of support from citizens around the world, and we ask that you continue to donate, continue to send prayers and continue to visit Nassau, Paradise Island and the Out Islands that were not affected.”
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) is appealing to its membership, travel industry partners, national hotel and tourism associations and all Caribbean tourism interests to support the northwest Bahamas by visiting bahamas.com/relief.
Sandals Pledges Help to Bahamas
Sandals Resorts, which did not have any locations in the areas affected by the hurricane, has pledged to match all donations made to its Sandals Foundation.
Coinciding with International Day of Charity, 100% of all donations raised will go directly to those in desperate need in the Abaco and Grand Bahamas Island, the company reports.
So far, The Sandals Foundation has partnered with Head Knowles to deliver 30,000 bottles of water to the Islands. The foundation has also set up two donation sites—one at Hospitality Purveyors Inc. in Miami, and another at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau.
Items needed include water, nonperishable food, diapers, baby formula, first-aid items, blankets, flashlights and cleaning supplies.
“The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian,” the company tweeted on Tuesday.
The Palm Beaches Reopen Hospitality, Attraction and Transportation Services
Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, reported that the Florida destination weathered the storm with minimal impacts and is quickly regaining normalcy within 48 hours following Hurricane Dorian’s close brush with South Florida.
With more than 90% of Palm Beach County hotels open for business, as well as 110-plus county parks and recreational facilities, all county-managed beaches and numerous cultural attractions, the destination welcomes all residents, visitors, as well as meeting and conference attendees.
The more northward movement of Dorian greatly improved the forecast for South Florida, including Palm Beach County. The destination was fortunate to have been spared from a direct hit and did not receive any significant disruption or damages from the storm.
Several hoteliers throughout The Palm Beaches are offering special rates for those in need of shelter and accommodations.
“We are greatly relieved that The Palm Beaches were spared the impact of this powerful storm, and our hearts go out to our neighbors in the Bahamas,” said DTPB’s President/CEO Jorge Pesquera. “Our entire community has already mobilized to provide assistance to the affected areas. In a nutshell, we are open for business.”
Helpful Links for Dealing with Future Storms
Take a look at past Hotel Business articles to gain insight from industry experts on building and design safety for hotels in hurricane zones.