International The Bahamas urges tourists to return to the islands after hurricane Dorian

The Bahamas urges tourists to return to the islands after hurricane Dorian

Post the hurricane, the country is now squaring up to the issue of convincing tourists that some islands are safe to return to, while still showing respect for the grief and suffering of those who were affected by it

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In the aftermath of hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas still remains more or less the same. While the powerful tropical cyclone battered the islands and left several places in severe states of catastrophe and ruin, some that house the country’s best known beaches and resorts were thankfully left relatively unscathed and are open to receive tourists.

Hurricane Dorian came out of nowhere on August 24 and proceeded to batter the Bahamas and surrounding islands. The storm peaked on September 1, when it rammed into the Abaco Islands.

Photo: In the aftermath of hurricane Dorian/Facebook

The Bahamas is home to more than 700 islands that boast of gorgeous beaches and mostly-perfect weather nearly year round, save for hurricane season, which normally takes place anywhere from June to November.

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The Associated Press first reported that post-Dorian, the country is now squaring up to the issue of convincing tourists that some islands are safe to return to, while still showing respect for the grief and suffering of those who were affected by Dorian.

Currently, Abaco and Grand Bahama islands are closed because of the storm’s impact and are in need of aid, particularly in Abaco, where the situation is perilous and dire. The airports of Grand Bahama International and Leonard Thompson International are closed until further notice is given.

Photo: Abaco Islands after hurricane Dorian/Facebook

The two islands house an equivalent of 3,000 hotel rooms, which makes up about 19 percent of the total hotel rooms in the Bahamas.

Photo: Gran Bahamas after hurricane Dorian/Facebook

While Abaco and Grand Bahama will be rebuilt, the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and Aviation is looking to re-boost tourism, assuring travellers that the other islands were unaffected and are still open to receive visitors. Some of the more popular destinations in the Bahamas, such as Paradise Island, the Exumas, Nassau and Cat Island are among those that were untouched by Dorian.

Photo: Paradise Island and Exumas, Bahamas/YouTube screen grab

Photos: Wildlife on Exumas, Bahamas/YouTube screen grabs

Besides these tourism favourites, other islands in the Bahamas deserve a look-see. Islands like Mayaguana and Inagua are small islands in the south of the country that are rarely visited by tourists, but no less beautiful than their more famous counterparts.

Tourism is an important industry in the Bahamas, making up about 40 percent of its GDP. While the local economy has been negatively affected by the storm, supporting the country’s tourism industry should give it the boost it needs to reshape and heal the areas affected by hurricane Dorian.

“One of the best ways that people around the world can show their support and solidarity…is to visit our other islands by air or by cruise ship,” said Bahamas’ Prime Minister Hubert Minnis to the Associated Press.

The islands in the Bahamas are known for gorgeous beaches, pristine waters, relaxing vistas, world-class resort experiences and amazing scuba diving and snorkelling. /TISG
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