Editor's Note: The following update was provided to The Outdoor Wire by The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation.
The Bahamas is back to business as tourism resumes after mainly cosmetic clean-up in our major tourism centers, while efforts to rebuild in those islands of The Bahamas that were hardest hit continue.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 12, all airports in The Bahamas are open and both international and domestic service has resumed. Major hotels in Nassau have already welcomed newly arrived guests, and cruise ships are expected to begin calling at ports in The Bahamas Wednesday. Recreational marinas have also reopened after reporting mostly no damage.
While most of The Islands of The Bahamas escaped severe damage, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those affected by Hurricane Irma.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Irma in parts of the Caribbean is devastating," said Hon. Minister Dionisio D'Aguilar, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. "The Bahamas considers itself very fortunate to have been spared the worst of this storm, but our hearts go out to all those impacted."
The Bahamas' main tourism product in areas such as Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island and the Out Islands was unharmed. Damage from Irma was limited to portions of the southern islands, ranging from mostly cosmetic in places such as Crooked Island, Inaugua and Mayaguana, to major structural damage on Ragged Island. Assessment of Acklins Island continues.
"We are thankful that The Bahamas has generally weathered the storm well, but we continue to evaluate the conditions across all of our islands as we gather information from hotels, attractions and partners," said Joy Jbrilu, Director General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. "The Bahamasdeeply appreciates the good wishes on our behalf this week, and we will seek to assist as we can."
Below are additional updates for travelers to The Bahamas:
The majority of hotels and resorts throughout The Islands of The Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to reopen on their regularly scheduled dates.
Many hotels in the Out Islands close annually after the summer season for maintenance. Reservation holders are encouraged to contact their respective hotels for more information.
Nassau and Paradise Island
Hotels on Nassau and Paradise Island were not damaged. Atlantis, Paradise Island, Baha Mar Resort and Casino, Breezes Bahamas, Melia Nassau Beach Resort, One&Only Ocean Club and Warwick Paradise Island are among the hotels open and hosting guests.
Grand Bahama Island
Grand Bahama hotels are expected to reopen today, including Grand Lucayan, Pelican Bay Hotel and Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach.
Nassau and Paradise Island
Airlines have resumed operating inbound and outbound international and domestic flights at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau.
Grand Bahama Island
While airlines are operating international flights out of Grand Bahama International Airport (GBI), U.S. Customs and Border Pre-Clearance is currently unavailable and will be reinstated at a later date.
International service has resumed from Exuma International Airport (GGT) in The Exumas and Marsh Harbour Airport (MHH) in The Abacos. Travelers should continue to check with carriers for schedule updates, as some carriers have added additional services.
The Port of Nassau and the Freeport Harbour are open for business. Cruise lines from the U.S. will resume sailing to The Islands of The Bahamas, but reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries Baleària Bahamas Express and Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line will resume service from The Bahamas on Friday, Sept. 15.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on Bahamas.com/storms
For images of main tourism regions of The Bahamas post-Hurricane Irma click here
(credit: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation).
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
The Islands of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world's best scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with preclearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar is on par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It's Better in The Bahamas. For more information call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com
. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.