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NASSAU — The Bahamas is already rebounding from Hurricane Dorian, which passed just over a month ago, with many hotels and attractions reopening and international flights set to resume soon.
According to an official update from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), though The Abacos faces a longer road to recovery, much of the country is already working to rebuild and maintain a healthy flow of tourism, which accounts for half of the country’s GDP.
Here’s what’s already open for business:
• Nassau and Paradise Island: This pair of islands, home to the country’s most extensive array of resorts, hotels, restaurants and tour operators, were not affected by the hurricane and are operating normally.
• The Out Islands: With the exception of The Abacos, the Out Islands are operating as usual. Some resorts and lodges take a fall hiatus for annual leave or renewal projects but there are still many options for accommodations. Airports, government ports and marinas are open across the islands.
• Grand Bahama Island: Its cruise port is already welcoming back travellers while the airport will reopen next month. Ferries and cruise lines, including Balearia, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line are already bringing travellers to Freeport to experience a number of excursions and sites that have reopened. The airport is operating domestic flights via temporary facilities and will welcome its first international flight on Nov. 15. Numerous hotels and resorts are already open or expected to reopen within weeks.
The Abacos, in contrast, has virtually no viable options for leisure tourism in the near future. The current focus is on reopening local government complexes and restoring basic services to facilitate rebuilding.
Nassau, the capital of The Bahamas and the home of the country’s government, is also a central hub for the hurricane Dorian recovery process. People who’ve been displaced by the storm are being accommodated on the island, with the most recent information from The Bahamas National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) indicating that 895 individuals are being housed across six shelters.
The CTO is reminding all travellers that The Bahamas is still open for business and that one of the best ways people can help is to visit now more than ever. In addition to planning a trip, those who wish to contribute can find a list of The Bahamas’ verified partners at www.bahamas.com/relief.