MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite all the circulating images of Hurricane Dorian’s brutal destruction, the Bahamas desperately want to get word out that most of its tourism hot spots are very much open for business.
“It is 700 islands, many in fine condition,” said Mario J. Leon, president of a sales and marketing firm for luxury hotels worldwide. “The only way to repair and recover, help all those people all over the Bahamas and were impacted, is going to require the return of tourism.”
He’s spreading the word that the Bahamas we all know, with its sun-splashed crystal water and pristine white sand, is still there to be enjoyed.
The challenge for the Bahamian tourism industry is getting the message out that Dorian’s damage only impacted the northern Bahamas. Plenty of islands were out of harm’s way and open for business.
The Bahamas Tourism Ministry has begun a campaign to encourage tourism.
“Let us return the love you’ve shown us by welcoming you the only way we know how — with open arms,” a promotion video states.
In 2018, 6.6 million people visited the Bahamas. Tourism makes up more than half of the island nation’s 5.7 billion dollar GDP.
“It is a very difficult line, but it is an important one because the Bahamas is a tourism nation,” Leon said.
Leon represents the Coral Sands Resort on Harbour Island, south of the damaged Grand Bahama and Abaco.
“Harbour Island and Coral Sands was spared the brunt of the storm,” he said.
Coral Sands is contacting those that have reservations and regular clientele saying they will be ready for their scheduled opening on November 1st.
“It is important for people to understand when they come back they will be helping everyone,” Leon said.