Photo courtesy of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
WHY IT RATES: Such a quick recovery after being lashed with such a powerful storm is testament to the tenacity and can-do attitude of the Andros Island hospitality and tourism industry personnel. - Michael Isenbek, TravelPulse Senior Editor
On Wednesday, Oct. 19, a couple from the United States headed to Andros, along with 160 of their closest friends and family, to say, “I do.”
The wedding is causing the first influx of visitors to Andros since the passage of Hurricane Matthew, and is touted as “a huge event” for the island.
Peter Douglas, senior manager in the Andros Tourism office, said officials have been hard at work cleaning up the island in the aftermath of the storm. He said Kamalame Cay — Private Island Resort, Small Hope Bay Lodge, and Brigadier’s were all preparing for the event.
“It’s something that was in the works for a long time and we are very excited that they chose our island for such a personal part of their life. We are also happy that the impact of the storm did not deter them from celebrating this moment with us. This event will kick things off for the tourism industry since business came to a pause following the storm,” Douglas said.
While the island reported major devastation in the aftermath of the storm, Douglas said work has been underway to rebuild and the island’s tourism industry will rebound quickly.
“We really have another week to maybe 10 days before we get back to normalcy,” Douglas said. “Right now a lot of damage to the hotels, resorts and lodges is more cosmetic than physical. We are working to ensure that when visitors come they can have access to the beaches, that they can have power, water and that the roads are clear.”
Many of the lodges and hotels on Andros are preparing to open this week following the storm. The airport on the island is open as well.
The Bahamas is quickly bouncing back from Hurricane Matthew, which was a powerful category four storm.
For many islands of The Bahamas, it is business as usual. Cruise ship visitors crowd the streets of Nassau, dive operators are already operational and tour operators are sharing the wonders of each island.
In Grand Bahama, work has already begun on many of the hotels and resorts affected by the storm.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism Director for Grand Bahama Betty Bethel said there is a feeling of “optimism” on the island among tourism stakeholders who are hoping to open their resorts during the “winter season.”
The Ministry of Tourism encourages anyone wishing to donate or assist in relief efforts to please visit bahamas.com/relief.
SOURCE: A Bahamas Ministry of Tourism press release