Industry pledges $6.5m to help the Bahamas rebuild after hurricane Dorian

by | Sep 27, 2019 | News

The best way to help the Bahamas is to go and visit. Image by Robin Smith from Pixabay.

TOPHOTELNEWS rounds up how hotels and the wider travel industry are coping in the wake of devastating hurricane Dorian

Dorian, the category five hurricane which ravaged the Bahamas over 14 days, had a strong impact on residents and the local hospitality industry. 

As for the consequences, the hurricane devastated 80% of the country’s fishing industry, resulted in 1,300 missing persons, 53 deaths and Abaco Island and Grand Bahamas are practically left under water. 

Luckily, the most travelled region, New Providence, was spared the worst. 

WISHING TO RECOVER 

Abaco, a city severely hit by Dorian, represents 15% of hotel rooms on the island. Two healthy tourist seasons are needed in order to reach a full recovery, experts said. The aim is to reach the highest level of rebuilding in two months’ time, before this year’s season starts.

Location of the affected areas: Abaco Islands and Grand Bahamas

Wondering what the most efficient way of helping is? It’s simple: visit the Bahamas. 

Tourism is a vital factor for their economy and represents 50% of the country’s GDP. In order to finance rebuilding, it is extremely important to reactivate the flow of tourists. 

Residents fear reliving 2017, when 826,100 people cancelled their Bahama travel plans after a strong storm season. 

WHO IS HELPING AND HOW

For starters, the hospitality industry made donations, most of them through online pages. Tourism organizations hosted online charity auctions to raise money.

The Baha Mar Foundation donated $2 million and encouraged tourists to collaborate by donating funds or goods. 

The cruise industry acted by sending donations of every type. Among these groups is Royal Caribbean which raised $1 million in funds. 

The Pan American Development Foundation also donated $500,000 and several online travelling platforms accepted donations of up to $50,000.

While economic support is always helpful, the Bahama’s international image is also in need of a boost which will only be possible once tourism is reactivated. 

To move this process along, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association partnered with the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association to organize an online charity auction where guests can bid on a 2 to 7-night stay in the Caribbean. The offer is valid until September 30 and will reopen for a second round in October.  

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