More than a month after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on Sept. 1 and totally demolished portions of two of its major northern islands in the following three days, Bahamians are still struggling to “come to grips” with the devastation caused by the storm to Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Despite an outpouring of material and manpower support from the United States and a raft of other countries in the Caribbean and around the world, at the beginning of October the devastation caused by Dorian on Abaco and Grand Bahama had not yet been fully assessed, with the actual death toll still being grossly understated.
Meanwhile, with The Bahamas’ tourism industry in the midst of a highly successful year, government officials are strongly stressing that The Bahamas is still open for business.
“Maintaining a robust tourism industry will be vital in helping the country to recover and rebuild,” said Dionisio D’Aguilar, the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Nassau Guardian reported.
This message was reinforced by Prime Minister Hubert Minnis on his return flight to The Bahamas after addressing the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 27.
Speaking into the airline’s PA system, the prime minister thanked fellow passengers aboard the Delta Airlines flight from New York to Nassau for choosing to visit the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian.
“I just spoke at the United Nations yesterday and I told them that the best way they can assist the Bahamas in terms of our rebuilding, Nassau — our economic engine and touristic center — has not been affected,” the prime minister said. “If they can get the message out that we’re still functional, we’re still open for business, the more tourists [who] visit our shores can put us in a better position so that we can rebuild and get back to normal.”