Tampa Bay, Florida – By now we all have seen the mass amount of destruction that has occurred on parts of the Bahama Islands. Residents and businesses are just beginning to assess the extent of the damage. Some estimates are in the billions with areas like the Abaco Islands taking some of the hardest hits from Dorian. But for a country that depends on over 60% of its gross domestic product from tourism, keeping your vacation plans to the Bahamas can be the best contribution you can make.
The Bahamas- known officially as the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is a country within the Lucayan Archipelago, in the Caribbean. The archipelagic state consists of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. The capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of “the Bahamas” can refer either to the country or to the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force describes the Bahamas territory as encompassing 470,000 km2 (180,000 sq mi) of ocean space.
Now that you have a little better understanding for the large area the Bahamas covers, I wanna list off the popular tourist locations and how they weathered the storm. Please let me be clear, I am in no way trying to downplay or ignore the overwhelming amount of devastation that has occured or the lives that have been lost. But living through more than one hurricane I also know the importance of trying to get back to some sort of normal.
The northernmost of the islands of the Bahamas, lying 103 kilometres (64 mi) off Palm Beach, Florida. It is the fourth largest island in the Bahamas island chain of approximately 700 islands and 2,400 cays. The island is roughly 530 square miles (1,400 km2) in area and approximately 153 kilometres (95 mi) long west to east and 24 kilometres (15 mi) at its widest point north to south. Administratively, the island consists of the Freeport Bonded Area and the districts of East Grand Bahama and West Grand Bahama.
Nearly half of the homes on the island were destroyed due to Hurricane Dorian.
Grand Lucayan Resort
Located on the southwest coast of Grand Bahamas, they announced they would be closed over the weekend and will remain so until further notice, according to its Instagram page. There has been no update since this post.
The Abaco Islands are home to about 17,000 people. The UN says almost all will need food aid and clean water. Hurricane Dorian’s daylong halt over the northwest Bahamas lead to flooding of the islands of Abaco.
The Ministry of Tourism, Eleuthera, which lies east of Nassau, has been given the all-clear. The same goes for Andros Island, to the west.
Meanwhile, the following islands have been largely unaffected so far: the Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.
The Ministry of Tourism’s also noted that many of hotels on the Out Islands are traditionally closed for the fall season after Labor Day. As of now they have instructed people staying there to check with their hotel directly.
Nassau & Paradise Island
For many travelers coming to the Bahamas by Cruise ship, this would be your port. This is also the home to some of the mega resorts. The Ministry of Tourism & Aviation said an all-clear has been given for New Providence Island, home to the capital city of Nassau, as well as Paradise Island, which lies to its north. That said, the agency said flooding and power outages persist in parts of Nassau.
The resort took to social media to report that they had been spared any damage, and they would be “OPEN AND FULLY OPERATIONAL” .
Atlantis Paradise Island
On Tuesday I checked in with my friends at Atlantis, and they have given the all clear as well. “OUR GUEST, THE MARINE ANIMALS IN OUR CARE AND OUR TEAM MEMBERS ARE ALL SAFE AND SECURE”
Warwick Paradise Island
The Adults only all-inclusive resort near the southwest shore of the island also reporting via Instagram that they all were safe and sound and NO SUSTAINED DAMAGE from the storm.
Cruise Ship Port
The Ministry of Tourism has announced that the ports are FULLY OPERATIONAL AND OPEN.
Royal Caribbean CocoCay
Norwegian Great Stirrup Cay
Carnival Half Moon Cay
Keep Your Vacation Plans
Visiting the Bahamas and it’s beautiful destinations you are helping them economically but also emotionally. Many of the tourist destinations employ those needing help and comfort. Just in terms of gross domestic product per capita, the Bahamas is one of the richest countries in the Americas (following the United States and Canada), but that is based on an economy dependent on tourism and offshore finance.
With the tourist season for the islands starting in a month and peak season coming in December they really need you to come for a visit.
It’s still to early and unclear how long it will be before the Abacos and Grand Bahama are back to normal. #BahamasStrong