HELP CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY HURRICANES IRMA AND MARIA
DONATE TO THE CTO HURRICANE RELIEF FUND VIA GO FUNDME
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) collects donations through the CTO Relief Fund for relief efforts in any of our member countries affected by hurricanes and to assist other Caribbean countries affected by natural disasters. It’s through this Fund that the CTO channels monetary assistance to our impacted member states, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Haiti, Martinique, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Maarten, St. Martin, Turks & Caicos, USVI.
Monies raised through this GoFundMe account will be sent directly to tourism officials in CTO member destinations affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The CTO appreciates all donations to assist in the recovery efforts of these countries.
The video below presents a general update from countries affected by the 2017 Hurricanes reporting at December 2017. A Tourism Recovery Round-Table was held as part of the Climate Smart conference during which 6 affected countries provided updates on their state of tourism readiness: Anguilla, Dominica, St. Maarten, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands.
DONATE TO THE CTO HURRICANE RELIEF FUND VIA PAYPAL GIVING FUND
The CTO Hurricane Relief Fund has “501(c)(3)” status, which means it has been approved by the USA Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt, charitable organization. You can make donations to the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund through Paypal Giving. To donate, go here: Donate with Paypal Giving Fund.
ASSIST EFFORTS IN THE COUNTRIES THROUGH CDEMA & THE NATIONAL DISASTER RELIEF AGENCIES
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) is a regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The Agency was established in 1991 as CDERA (Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency) with primary responsibility for the coordination of emergency response and relief efforts to Participating States that require such assistance. It transitioned to CDEMA in 2009 to fully embrace the principles and practice of Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM).
(CDM) is an integrated and proactive approach to disaster management and seeks to reduce the risk and loss associated with natural and technological hazards and the effects of climate change to enhance regional sustainable development.
WHICH STATES ARE MEMBERS OF CDEMA?
All CARICOM and Non-CARICOM Member States of the Caribbean region are eligible for CDEMA membership.
CDEMA presently comprises eighteen (18) Participating States (PS): Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Republic of Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the Virgin Islands.
Post Caribbean Hurricane Updates
POST HURRICANES CARIBBEAN UPDATE – 6 NOVEMBER, 2017
LONDON,UK (6 Nov., 2017) – As member countries of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) affected by the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria reopen for business, the CTO presents this update, which includes data provided by our partner, OAG, the leading air travel data provider based in the UK, the state of readiness in the member countries and planned events in the coming months, as provided by the member destinations.
Download post Caribbean Hurricane Update – November 6, 2017
Download post Caribbean Hurricane Update – October 2, 2017
Hurricane Maria Updates & Official Statements
Check CaribbeanTraveUpdate.com for more news and updates on Caribbean destinations.
Download Hurricane Maria Update Sept 23, 2017
Download Hurricane Maria Update Sept 22, 2017
Statement by the CTO on Hurricane Maria
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (19 Sept. 2017) – We at the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) are heartbroken over the hurt that Hurricane Maria has inflicted on Dominica. At this very moment we are trying to get details on the extent of the damage and the condition of the other countries in the path of this dangerous category 5 storm.
Our prayers are with all those who are in harm’s way, some of whom were impacted by Hurricane Irma less than two weeks ago. We will immediately begin to assist with sourcing and raising funds, relief suppliers and shelter. We will also help to manage the vital communications process. We are attempting to assess the most urgent needs and to tackle those first.
Dominica Post Hurricane Maria Update # 2
Roseau Dominica – (October 30, 2017) – In the wake of the passage of Hurricane Maria some six weeks ago, Dominica is continuing its efforts to bring daily life back to a state of normalcy while conducting ongoing assessments of the damage incurred and the resources needed to Build Back Better!
Plans are in high gear to celebrate the island’s 39th year of Independence on Friday, November 3, 2017, under the theme “Building a brighter future together”. A praise and worship session is planned for 9 am at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in the capital, Roseau. The celebration will include cultural performances, invocation by religious leaders, a parade of uniformed troops, and the Prime Minister’s Address to the nation.
Regarding the tourism infrastructure, the following should be noted:
The following properties are opened to welcome visitors: Atlantique View Resort, Caribbean Seaview Apartments, Classique International Guest House, Coffeeriver Cottages, Hibiscus Valley Inn, Picard Family Guest House, Pointe Baptiste Guest House, Portsmouth Beach Hotel, Rejens Hotel, Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, St. James Guest House, Suite Pepper Cottage, Sunset Bay Club, and Tamarind Tree Hotel.
Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, WINAIR, and Trans Island Air have all announced resumption of services to Douglas Charles Airport. Costal Air Transport and Express Carrier have also resumed regular services to Canefield Airport. L’Express des Iles fast ferry service is operating daily between Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia. Travellers interested in visiting the destination should inquire with their travel agent or on the websites of the various carriers.
The Dominica Watersports Association has reported 35% damage to reefs at 10 dive sites. All dive operators are closed, however some are expected to reopen in January 2018. Once operations resume, the number of dives per site will be reduced to limit any negative impact on the fragile underwater ecosystem.
Waitukubuli National Trail
All 14 segments of the Waitukubuli National Trail remain closed. Assessments are currently being undertaken to assess the damage to the trail.
Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister through the Emergency Organizing Committee. Detailed information on daily Press briefings and relief operations can be found at www.opm.gov.dm.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 1-767- 448-2045; or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and watch our videos on YouTube.
Roseau Dominica – (October 18, 2017) – Dominica was severely impacted by category 5 Hurricane Maria on September 18, 2017. Assessment of the country’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges and sites and attractions continues. Updated information from daily press briefings are accessible at http://www.opm.gov.dm/. Following is an update on island services:
Dominica has classified this new period post Maria as one of relief, recovery and rebuilding. The positive news is that many areas, communities and families are now moving from the relief phase to recovery. Restoration and repair of some services has begun. The Government led rebuilding phase will focus on incorporating best practices that ensure Dominica will be better able to withstand future acts of nature.
- Main roadways have been cleared and damage is still being assessed.
- Over 275 tons of food and 45,000 gallons of water have been distributed to over 93 communities.
- All banks, some businesses and government offices are now open for business in the city.
- The Ministry of Education is working to have 23 schools reopened by October 18, 2017. Many schools will reopen in in their original buildings, while others will operate on a shift system or in an alternate location.
- Most roads are safe for driving and motorists are advised to proceed with caution in certain areas.
- LIAT Airlines and Seaborne have resumed commercial flights to Dominica and are operating at a limited capacity.
- Seaborne Airlines began commercial flights to/from Dominica on October 11, 2017. Flights depart San Juan, Puerto Rico at 12:45 pm and depart Dominica 3:00 pm daily. For additional details, visit https://www.seaborneairlines.com/
- LIAT Airlines will operate commercial flights as follows:
- Return flight to Antigua (LI624) will operate on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday departing Antigua at 11:30am and Dominica at 1:10pm;
- Return flight to Barbados (LI601) will operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday departing Barbados at 10am and Dominica at noon.
This schedule will run until November 7th when the airline will update its schedule.
For additional details, visit http://www.liat.com/ or call the Call Centre at 1-888-844-5428
- L’Express des Iles ferry service is operating to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia from the Roseau Ferry Terminal. The ferry travels the Martinique /St Lucia route on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays departing Dominica at 10:30 am and on Saturdays at 3 pm. Service to Guadeloupe from Dominica is at 11:30 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and at 9:15 am on Saturdays. For additional information, please visit http://www.express-des-iles.com/index.cfm?lng=en .
- Prior to Hurricane Maria, Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) had on record of seventy-three (73) properties / nine hundred and nine (909) guest rooms. As of October 17, 2017, sixty-four (64) of these properties have been reassessed for hurricane damage. Assessments show that thirty-two (32) properties are moderately damaged and able to operate now or in the near future.
- Twenty seven (27) properties have been severely damaged or destroyed, with serious to total destruction of structures including roofs, electrical and plumbing. Wi-Fi is not available in most cases.
The properties that suffered moderate damage account for fifty one percent (51.4%) of the total room stock or four hundred and sixty-seven (467) guestrooms.
- Most natural sites have been assessed. Access roads to these sites have been damaged and consequently tourist sites and natural attractions are currently closed until repair work is complete.
- Overall 35% of reefs at dive sites were damaged, particularly sponges and softer corals above 45 feet. Currently all nine dive operators are closed for business and most will not be operational before January 2018. Upon resumption the number of dives per day will be reduced to ease the strain on the fragile reefs. Kindly check in with your dive shop for more details.
- The Dominica Water and Sewage Company (DOWASCO) has restored drinking water supply to 55% of its network and work is ongoing to restore pipe borne water to other communities.
- The Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC) has restored electricity to parts of the capital city Roseau, Portsmouth and are continuing restoration of electricity to other communities.
- Mobile phone service providers FLOW and Digicel have restored access to their mobile networks to a number of communities. FLOW has restored 21 of its 49 mobile sites and land line phone service has been restored to parts of Roseau, Canefield, St. Joseph, Portsmouth, Morne Daniel, Mahaut and Pond Cassee. Digicel has restored mobile service to communities in the north, south and west as well as Roseau, Portsmouth and environs.
- Relief efforts are being coordinated by the Office of the Prime Minister through the Emergency Organizing Committee.
- Detailed information on relief operations can be found at www.opm.gov.dm.
While some of our accommodations and sites have been damaged by hurricane Maria, our welcoming spirit has not been deterred. Many within the hospitality sector have regrouped and welcome voluntourism visitors. If you are interested in such a visit to Dominica kindly contact our office.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 1-767- 448-2045; or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and watch our videos on YouTube.
Hurricane Maria – Dominica Amateur Radio Communications Page: https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneMariaDARCI/
ABS radio: https://www.facebook.com/abstvradio/
Sept 21, 2017
A clearer picture is beginning to emerge of Hurricane Maria’s merciless devastation of Dominica. Photos shared with CTO Sept 20, 2017 from Hartley Henry, Advisor to the Dominica Prime Minister. The images are genuine and can be used. You may have access to them by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/2fkfxg1
The minister of tourism Robert Tonge sent this update in the early hours of this morning. It’s a running commentary of affected communities, most of which may be unfamiliar to you.
The prime minister’s principal adviser Hartley Henry has said prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit will be airlifted to Antigua this morning from where he’ll deliver an address from the studios of ABS television at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Caribbean Time (4:30 p.m. in the UK)
Roseau: Severe flooding and heavy damage throughout the city. No fatalities reported. The hospital and community centre lost their roofs. Kings Hill badly damaged, with nearly all roofs gone. All roofs gone from the hospital (in Goodwill) east to St. Aromant. Windsor Park to be used as a landing site for helicopters in the morning.
Laudat: No information.
Morne Prosper: One fatality.
Morne Daniel: Houses damaged.
Canefield: Airport inoperable. Severe damage to areas of town nearest the airport.
Massacre: Lost roofs.
Mahaut: 95% of roofs gone.
Layou: “Took a beating”, presumably to flooding from the Layou River. The bridges are out.
St. Joseph: “Not so bad”
Mero: No information.
Salisbury: Houses lost roofs.
Morne Raquette: No information.
Coulibistrie: Minimal wind damage but severe flooding from Coulibistrie River, at a higher level than in TS Erika.
Colihaut: No communications with police station. Minimal wind damage but severe flooding from Colihaut River.
Picard: All Ross students who stayed on campus accounted for. Minimal damage to campus, some roofs off in surrounding area.
Portsmouth: 95% of roofs gone.
Tanetane, Penville: No information.
Vieille Case: Police station destroyed.
Dos d’Ane: One fatality, 5 missing.
Bense, Calibishie, Woodford Hill: No information.
Wesley: Town very badly damaged.
Marigot: Airport surprisingly clear and may be operational within days. Town very badly damaged. No communications with police station.
Atkinson: Severe damage.
Bataka, Monkey Hill, Salibia, Gaulette, Sineku, Castle Bruce, Good Hope, Petite Soufriere: No information.
Rosalie, Morne Jaune: No information, presumed very badly damaged or destroyed.
Sept. 20, 2017 – This message from Hartley Henry, the principal advisor to Dominica’s prime minister:
This is Hartley Henry – Principal Advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica.
It’s 4 30am and I just spoke with Prime Minister Skerrit via satellite phone. He and family are fine. Dominica is not!! Tremendous loss of housing and public buildings. The main general hospital took a beating. Patient care has been compromised.
Many buildings serving as shelters lost roofs, which means that a very urgent need now is tarpaulins and other roofing materials.
Little contact has been made with the outer communities but persons who walked 10 and 15 miles towards the city of Roseau from various outer districts report total destruction of homes, some roadways and crops.
Urgent helicopter services are needed to take food, water and tarpaulins to outer districts for shelter.
Canefield airport can accommodate helicopter landings and it is expected that from today, the waters around the main Roseau port will be calm enough to accommodate vessels bringing relief supplies and other forms of assistance.
It’s difficult to determine the level of fatalities but so far seven are confirmed, as a direct result of the hurricane. That figure, the Prime Minister fears, will rise as he wades his way into the rural communities today -Wednesday.
The urgent needs now are roofing materials for shelters, bedding supplies for hundreds stranded in or outside what’s left of their homes and food and water drops for residents of outlying districts inaccessible at the moment.
The tarmac at Mellville Hall [Airport] was not too badly damaged so the strip should be opened in a day or two for larger relief planes to land.
The Prime Minister is hoping to make contact with ABS Radio in Antigua this morning to speak directly to the outer world as to the state of Dominica and its urgent needs.
The country is in a daze – no electricity, no running water – as a result of uprooted pipes in most communities and definitely to landline or cellphone services on island, and that will be for quite a while.
In summary, the island has been devastated. The housing stock significantly damaged or destroyed. All available public buildings are being used as shelters; with very limited roofing materials evident. The country needs the support and continued help and prayers of all.
Sept 19, 2017 – The eye of Hurricane Maria passed over the Commonwealth of Dominica last night and into the early hours of this morning. Even while it was still impacting, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit posted the following:
“Initial reports are of widespread devastation. So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains. So, far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside. Come tomorrow morning we will hit the road, as soon as the all clear is given, in search of the injured and those trapped in the rubble. I am honestly not preoccupied with physical damage at this time, because it is devastating…indeed, mind boggling.
My focus now is in rescuing the trapped and securing medical assistance for the injured. We will need help, my friend, we will need help of all kinds. It is too early to speak of the condition of the air and seaports, but I suspect both will be inoperable for a few days. That is why I am eager now to solicit the support of friendly nations and organisations with helicopter services, for I personally am eager to get up and get around the country to see and determine what’s needed.”
There has been no updates since, and efforts to reach the island have so far been unsuccessful.
This morning, the government of Trinidad and Tobago announced it would offer assistance to Dominica.
“The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is mobilizing to send assistance to the Commonwealth of Dominica. Currently coordination is taking place under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs. It is envisaged that as soon as it is safe, a National Helicopter Services Limited helicopter will be sent to Dominica with Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force personnel. The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is also preparing to send a supply vessel and to take Defence Force personnel as well as supplies up to Dominica. Later today further announcements will be made as to where the public can drop off goods and supplies to be transported to assist the citizens of Dominica.”
Fort-de-France, Martinique—September 19, 2017—As was the case with Hurricane Irma, the French island of Martinique did not experience a direct hit by this second powerful storm and was spared after yesterday’s close encounter with Hurricane Maria.
Quoted by Reuters in a press briefing today in Paris, Jacques Witkowski, France’s head of civil protection and crisis response, said: “In Martinique, reconnaissance operations are still underway but already we can see that there is no significant damage.”
After an early statement related to Hurricane Irma, in which she expressed her deep sympathies and thoughts “to our brothers and sisters of the islands stricken by this unprecedented storm,” Karine Mousseau, Martinique Tourism Commissioner declared today: “We are all deeply saddened by the devastation experienced by Dominica, Martinique’s neighbor to the North, and pray that all of our friends who are now in the storm’s path will be spared the worst of this powerful hurricane.”
She went on to say: “In cooperation and with the assistance of the Martinique Prefecture, we will soon have a more detailed update. In the meanwhile there are two important facts to report: the Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport re-opened this morning at 9:00 a.m. and ports are scheduled to re-open tomorrow.”
Hurricane Maria: Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport is now opened and fully operational
Sept. 19th, 2017
The Airport Management Team of Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport informs all passengers that the airport is opened for traffic from 9 a.m. today 19 September.
No damage was reported to the airport infrastructure as Hurricane Maria hit Martinique as a category 4 Hurricane.
Special thanks to the airport staff and the fire and rescue team who ensured a quick start of operations this morning.
We shall advise all passengers to revert to their respective airlines for any updates on their flight schedule before heading to the airport.
The airport information desk will provide them with assistance on the following number: +596 596 42 19 95 if calling from abroad
0596 42 19 95 if calling from Martinique, France and any French territories
The last but not least, due to the yesterday flights cancellations, we strongly recommend all our passengers to remain patient and polite while rebooking options are being organized by the different carriers.
Montserrat Open for Business after the passage of Hurricane Maria
Little Bay, Montserrat (September 22, 2017). Early Tuesday morning (September 19th) residents and visitors of Montserrat experienced the effects of Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm which passed 75 miles away from Montserrat. The island was once again spared the full wrath of Hurricane Maria, however, assessments revealed that trees were broken or uprooted, few properties lost roofs and shingles and communication masts sustained damages. Some electrical poles are currently down and the Montserrat Utilities Limited is working assiduously to restore the entire island with power. Presently more than 90% has been restored. All hospitality providers have reported minimal damages and are presently open to receive visitors.
Air services to Montserrat have been fully restored and the ferry service will restart its regular operations between Antigua and Montserrat commencing today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with our sister isles who were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
- St. Kitts & Nevis
Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 20, 2017) – The eye of Hurricane Maria passed to the south of St. Kitts & Nevis yesterday afternoon, with the center having been located 90 miles west-southwest of the islands. Rapid assessment teams are currently being deployed to determine the extent of disruption caused by the storm. Everyone is advised to remain indoors until the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) states that the “all clear” is given. All storm watches and warnings for St. Kitts & Nevis have been discontinued. Essential services are up and operating.
St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) will reopen today at 11am. American Airlines’ non-stop daily flight #318 from Miami (MIA) to St. Kitts is operating today and is scheduled to depart Miami on time at 11:45am and arrive on island at 3:35pm. British Airways’ flight #2157 from London Gatwick airport (LGW) to St. Kitts via Antigua (ANU) scheduled to operate today has been cancelled. However, the flight has been rerouted to operate tomorrow LGW-ANU-SKB-ANU-LGW as flight #2157/2256 and passengers who were scheduled to depart on today’s flight will be re-accommodated on that flight.
Updated information will be provided after the 8:00am assessment report is received.
We extend our thoughts and prayers to our brothers and sisters in Dominica, which took a direct hit from Maria, and to everyone who has been or will be impacted by the storm. Our sincere thanks to those who have kept St. Kitts & Nevis in their hearts and prayers.
- Puerto Rico
October 6, 2017: Official statement from José Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC).
“For the past few weeks, the PRTC has been collaborating with government agencies and the private sector to provide immediate relief while ensuring the safety of all visitors and residents. The support received to date has been remarkable and we continue to welcome relief efforts from partners who are interested in helping the people of Puerto Rico as we focus on rebuilding our Island.
Recent advancements on major tourism infrastructure, like our main airport fully operational with back to normal schedules and operational cruise ports and hotels, show a steady pace towards our rebuilding path. Assessment continues as we have been in constant communication with our tourism partners across the Island. We are glad to report that the preparedness measures put into place have allowed for what we are expecting to be a full recovery for our tourism industry. We look forward to getting back on our feet in the hopes of welcoming visitors to the Island in the weeks ahead. We are confident that with the continuous support of our industry partners, we can build a stronger Puerto Rico.”
Sept 22, 2017: Official statement from Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
“The safety and security of everyone on the Island, including all of our visitors, is our priority right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. We are working closely with other government agencies- local and federal- and collaborating with all our industry partners to assess the state of our infrastructure and services across the Island.
While it is too soon to know the full extent of the impact, we are confident that Puerto Rico will quickly recover and the resiliency and strength of our people will get us through the difficult days ahead.
We came together not long ago to help our Caribbean neighbors post-Irma, and it is this generosity, the hospitality of our people, and the beauty of our Island that will continue to lure visitors to Puerto Rico.
Travelers who are thinking of visiting Puerto Rico should visit seepuertorico.com for updated travel information.”
Sept 19, 2017: The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) has also issued a statement encouraging all industry stakeholders to finish all emergency preparations as soon as possible and safeguard the lives of all staff members and guests.
The path of Hurricane María directly over Puerto Rico is imminent and will be a dangerous incident, the PRTC said in the following advisory”
Airport & Airline Information:
•The San Juan International Airport remains open. AEROSTAR is maintaining regular operations until 7:00pm.
•The airport is expected to reopen on Thursday once damages are assessed.
•A meeting will be held at 10:00am today (Tuesday morning), with airlines and agencies involved. Operations schedule and updates will be communicated throughout the day.
•Each airline defines its flight schedule today and potential cancellations.
•Contact airlines’ 1-800 numbers or website for information for flight status and arrangements.
•Travelers without flight arrangements should not head over to the airport, and should instead call the airlines to confirm travel.
Important Note for Hotels
•Note that airport and major airlines will continue to operate flights weather permitting. Last minute cancellations are expected as Hurricane María approaches. We ask that all lodging partners consider that travelers whose flights are canceled at the last minute, and have recently checked out, will need to quickly return to safety.
•To lessen the possibility of having to handle tourists or visitors without lodging arrangements, we strongly encourage you to allow guests that will be checking out today, to promptly check in again if flight cancellations are experienced.
• If your property can enact this policy, please inform guests upon checkout so as to minimize the possibility of having travelers without lodging arrangements in this life-threatening situation.
PRTC Support Hotline
The PRTC HOTLINE is available for hotels, travelers and industry partners 24/7 at 1(877) 976-2400.
Travelers can also contact a customer service representative via online chat at seepuertorico.com
If you require emergency assistance, Madeline Santiago, the PRTC Interagency Emergency Coordinator, can be reached at 787-525-4899 or at 787- 724-0124 ext. 30031 or 3000. ([email protected])
The PRTC team is standing by to assist all industry stakeholders before, during and after the passing of Hurricane María. Each PRTC endorsed property has been assigned a high level or regional executive available to answer any questions and assist you throughout (cellular connection permitting).
Direct contact information for the PRTC liaisons:
•Carla Campos, Deputy Director (787-356-7474)
•Imaris Arocho, Special Aide to the Deputy Director (787-908-1400)
•Carlos Romo, Special Aide to the Executive Director (787-602-3015)
•Saúl Suárez, Director of Planning and Development (787-531-4250)
•Jovani Narváez, Director of Administration and Human Resources (787-379-7063)
•Janice Ramírez, Director of Legal Advising (787-509-4972)
•Luis Umpierre, Chief Financial Officer (787-349-8030)
•Shelyn Silva, Vieques Information Center Supervisor (787-413-2008)
•Miguel Santiago, Regional Director for Porta del Sol (787-248-0303)
Traveler & Industry Information:
Please refer travelers to www.puertoriconow.seepuertorico.com for updated information on weather, hotels, flights, cruises, island attractions, important contact information and links. Agency Telephone PRTC Hurricane Hotline for Hotels, Guests and Industry Partners 1(877) 976-2400
Madeline Santiago, PRTC, Interagency Emergency Coordinator 787-525-4899
The Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management 787-724-0124
Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority 787-289-3434
The Puerto Rico Firefighters Corps 787-343-2330
Puerto Rico National Weather Service 787-253-4586
Police Department 787-343-2020 Red Cross 787-758-8150
Puerto Rico Water Authority 787-620-2482
•The most dangerous part of this system will be crossing directly over Puerto Rico.
•Please identify safe zones within hotel properties that can shelter guests and staff during the peak of the storm. Monitor the hurricane path closely and make sure to inform guests and staff of the approximate time when they should report to the previously identified safe zones.
•Ensure preparedness measures are in place by 3:00P.M. on Tuesday, September 20 for tourism businesses located on mainland Puerto Rico. Vieques and Culebra properties should have already enacted full emergency protocols.
•Casinos are now closed (effective at 5:30am on Tuesday, September 19).
•Opening times are yet to be confirmed but tentatively scheduled for Friday, September 22 at 11:20am or 7:30pm.
Other Attractions •All other major tourist attractions remain closed.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM JOSE IZQUIERDO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PUERTO RICO TOURISM COMPANY
The safety and security of our visitors is of utmost priority as we prepare for Hurricane Maria. We’ve been open for business on the tourism front post-Irma, and feel very confident we have the right preparedness plans in place to recover quickly. We are collaborating tourism industry partners to ensure preparedness plans are in place and everyone is well-informed and safe. We’re fortunate to have recovered very from Irma. Our tourism infrastructure has been fully operational and we have continued to welcome visitors to the Island these past few weeks. While it’s too soon to tell, we feel optimistic it will be “business as usual” across our major hotel and tourism attractions as soon as possible after hurricane Maria. As always, the safety and security of our visitors and residents is our number one priority. Government agencies are prepared and on standby to assist residents and visitors and the PRTC is here to help as best we can through this time. We urge you to take all necessary precautions in preparation for Hurricane Maria.
Sept. 21, 2017
Statement from Kenneth E. Mapp, Governor, U.S. Virgin Islands
The past 24 hours have been difficult and exhausting for the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, especially our friends, family, neighbors and communities on St. Croix. After touring damaged neighborhoods across St. Croix, my prayer is for renewed strength and resolve to rebuild all of our islands in the wake of these two terrible storms. Your Government will neither rest nor grow weary as we continue to work with our federal partners and our friends across the mainland and around the world, to clean up and reconstruct the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands. Always remember, we are strong and we are resilient. To assist with the recovery and reconstruction, visit www.usvirecovery.org. We will provide further updates as communications are fully restored. Thank you again for your prayers and your support.
Sept 20, 2017
Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Keisha Nelson, Marketplace Excellence + 1 201 861-2056; [email protected]
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism + 1 340 642-9789; [email protected]
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS ASSESSING DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE MARIA
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS (September 20, 2017) – The Government of the United States Virgin Islands is working to assess damage to the Territory following the passage of Hurricane Maria.
The eye of the Category 5 storm passed south of St. Croix overnight (Tuesday into early Wednesday morning), bringing with it hurricane-force winds, heavy rainfall and flooding. The islands of St. John, St. Thomas and Water Island, which are still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Irma, endured tropical storm conditions.
The Department of Tourism continues to encourage travelers to postpone trips to the islands at this time as it further evaluates the damage caused by the hurricanes and coordinates evacuation efforts.
Communication throughout the Territory is limited, and the Department of Tourism is in the process of collecting information from tourism stakeholders.
“We are thankful for life today – let’s continue to support each other as we recover from these weather events,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, Commissioner of Tourism.
The Department of Tourism will continue to provide updates once received, and thanks everyone for their thoughts, prayers and assistance as the Territory works on its recovery efforts. To assist with the recovery and reconstruction, visit www.usvirecovery.org.
For further information on the impact of the recent storms, visit www.usviupdate.com.
About the U.S. Virgin Islands
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com, follow us on Twitter (@USVITourism) and become a fan on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VisitUSVI). When traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel – including on-line check-in – making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
CTO Hurricane Update 6 – Sept 16, 2017
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (16 Sept, 2017) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) continue to provide updates from their members in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean following the impact Hurricane Irma.
Relief efforts are underway in a handful of the countries and both CTO and CHTA have set-up funds to assist in the efforts. CTO’s Relief Fund helps families and countries rebuild after hurricanes. For more information on CTO’s Relief Fund or to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto. Donations through CHTA’s Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund can be made via http://www.tourismcares.org/caribbean.
Following is an update regarding Irma’s impact on Caribbean destinations, as well as reports from CHTA-member hotels.
HURRICANE IRMA UPDATES FROM CTO MEMBER COUNTRIES
ANGUILLA SPARED BY HURRICANE JOSE ACCELERATES RECOVERY FROM IRMA
The Valley, Anguilla, Sept. 11, 2017…..Anguillians are breathing a sigh of relief as Hurricane Jose largely bypassed the island, which was under a Tropical Storm Watch on Saturday. Islanders are moving swiftly to rebuild, buoyed by an outpouring of support from friends and family, stakeholders, past and current visitors and trade partners.
The Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is now open from sunrise to sunset for charter and emergency flights. Anguilla Air Services (contact numbers: 264-235-7122 or 264-582-3226) is currently operating into St. Kitts and Antigua, taking persons to connect out of those hubs and also bringing persons into Anguilla. The Road Bay Port at Sandy Ground has also reopened and can now receive cargo.
The Governor, and Chief Minister are continuing to assess the damage, identify priorities, and coordinate the response through the National Emergency Operations Center. Aid from the UK in the form of food, water, medical supplies and technical support has begun to arrive on the island. Community volunteers are fully engaged in the massive clean-up campaign, with centers for the collection of debris from the storm established in key areas around the island.
Many properties are still conducting their assessments, but following is a brief update from select stakeholders on island. Additional property updates will be issued as they are made available.
Carimar Beach Club
Management and staff are fine and Carimar is standing strong. The garden looks worst and a few doors and windows. The team has started the clean-up process and will advise of their reopening date, now that Jose has passed.
CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort
CeBlue’s staff is safe and the resort had no guests as it was already closed for the season. The villas and resort buildings held up strongly against the hurricane and they are all structurally sound. The resort has begun the clean up process as the damages sustained are repairable and they look forward to welcoming guests for the season.
The Fountain buildings and grounds are structurally intact. A few of the units suffered some damage from debris hitting the windows and they are currently assessing the clean-up and repair. They anticipate being open for the season.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt
This property was significantly affected, and their engineers are presently assessing the full extent of the damage. The ownership and management are steadfastly committed to restoring, rebuilding and reopening, as well as doing everything possible to help and support their employees through this most difficult time. They look forward to welcoming back all their guests as soon as possible, and greatly appreciate the extraordinary outpouring of encouragement and support during this difficult time. Additional information will be posted on their website and social media networks as soon as it is available.
Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort
Upon preliminary review there appears to be no major structural damage to the resort. The team is now assessing the extent of the clean up required in greater detail and once this is completed they will advise on their proposed reopening date.
Quintessence Boutique Resort
The property sustained a fair amount of damage, but nothing that can’t be repaired; however the proposed November 1 opening will be delayed.
Zemi Beach House
Zemi Beach had closed to guests in advance of the hurricane. The property held strong during the storm so they will be able to welcome guests back before long, although the timing is still uncertain, as they are still assessing the situation. The owners, management and staff of Zemi Beach House would like to thank everyone for their kind words and concerns during this heart-rending period for Anguilla and Zemi Beach House. For any further inquiries, please contact Frank Pierce Director of Sales & Marketing at [email protected].
This property is built like a fortress, and suffered only cosmetic damage. A clean up of the grounds is underway.
Sunset Homes Properties
Spyglass Hill will be ready for reopening on November 1; Little Butterfly survived intact.
Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise was designed to withstand for 200mph winds. There was no structural damage to the buildings or to the roof, nor was there any damage to the contents of the villa. There was cosmetic damage only, two gates and a louvered wall will need attention, in addition to the landscape.
Blanchards received moderate damage and Blanchards Beach Shack is amazingly in great shape, it just needs a little clean-up. The owners expect to be able to open both restaurants as soon as the major resorts are open.
daVida Restaurant & Bayside
The main restaurant is still in tact, however the canape on the second floor of the loft was lost.
The Bar at the Bayside is still intact, but the dining area will be rebuilt. The staff are all safe, and the Management of da’Vida would like to thank everyone for their prayers during and after Hurricane Irma.
Garveys, Pumphouse and Mango’s were devastated, while Dune Preserve, Elvis’ Beach Bar, Dolce Vita and Ripples also suffered severe damage. Jacala, Geraud’s Patisserie and Grands Vins de France all survived. Johnno’s, Dads, and Picante are still standing, but will require some repairs.
For more information please visit Anguilla’s official website www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla .
Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ship to Provide Disaster Relief to the Island of Anguilla Post Hurricane Irma
Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, RFA Mounts Bay (https://www.facebook.com/RoyalFleetAuxiliary/) has been tasked to provide urgent humanitarian and disaster relief to the UK Overseas Territory of Anguilla.
RFA Mounts Bay is a 16,000 ton Landing Ship Dock Auxiliary, which can provide a high level of capability and flexibility during disaster response operations. Whilst deployed on Atlantic Patrol Task North, it is a core task, if or when required, for the ship to provide humanitarian and disaster relief (HADR) to UK Overseas Territories and Commonwealth nations, RFA Mounts Bay crew is able to provide emergency supplies and personnel by sea and helicopter.
The RFA HADR team on board includes a combination of over 50 additional Royal Marines and Army engineering/logistical personnel with access to earth-moving and water transporting equipment and a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter. The RFA crew also has the capacity to assist in the repair of infrastructure, and the provision of clean water, medical support, temporary shelter and sanitation facilities.
RFA Head of Service Commodore Duncan Lamb commented:
“My thoughts are with the people of Anguilla and neighbouring Caribbean islands affected by the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. RFA Mounts Bay stands ready to provide humanitarian aid and support where and when directed.”
RFA Mounts Bay is deployed to the region in order to provide security and assurance to UK Overseas Territories there. Whilst deployed, RFA Mounts Bay also participates in regional security and anti-smuggling operations.
ANGUILLA TOURIST BOARD ADVISORY ON HURRICANE IRMA
The Valley, Anguilla, September 6, 2017……Hurricane Irma passed over the northern Caribbean island of Anguilla in the early morning hours on Wednesday, September 6. Heavy rains and strong winds were reported island wide, but fortunately there are no reports of loss of life.
The Clayton J Lloyd International Airport did not sustain any serious damage, although it has not yet reopened. The Blowing Point and Road Bay seaports also remain closed until further notice.
From all preliminary reports it appears that the major resorts are relatively intact, although many private residences sustained some damage. The Anguilla Tourist Board will continue to monitor the on-island situation and issue specific property updates as more details become available.
For more information please visit the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov; or visit Anguilla’s official website www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla .
ANGUILLA TOURIST BOARD ADVISORY ON HURRICANE IRMA
The Valley, Anguilla, September 5, 2017……Hurricane Irma became a Category 5 hurricane on the morning of Tuesday, September 5, and is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Northern Leeward Islands, The British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
According to the latest update provided by the Anguilla Department of Disaster Management, at 8:00PM this evening Hurricane Irma was situated 151 miles southeast of Anguilla, with maximum sustained winds of 185mph. The core of the storm is forecast to be 77 miles ESE of Anguilla at 1:00AM on Wednesday, September 6, and to pass over the island by around 8:00AM. The Blowing Point and Road Bay seaports are closed until further notice, as is the Clayton J Lloyd International Airport.
The government has issued comprehensive safety directives and residents and resorts across the island are taking all necessary precautions to secure their properties and safeguard life. The number of visitors affected is likely to be minimal, as a majority of the hotels and restaurants on Anguilla close by the end of August for renovation and refurbishing. Visitors on the island were encouraged to leave and assisted with travel arrangements to facilitate their departure over the weekend.
The National Emergency Operations Center is coordinating the response and recovery efforts, and shelters have been opened in the West End, The Valley, South Hill and the East End.
The Anguilla Tourist Board will be closely monitoring the situation and issuing property updates in the aftermath of the storm. For more information please visit the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov; or visit Anguilla’s official website www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla .
- Antigua and Barbuda
ANTIGUA OPEN FOR BUSINESS: EXCURSIONS, TOUR OPERATORS, RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS WELCOME VISITORS
St. John’s, Antigua (September 14, 2017) – Antigua is back to offering world-class excursions and adventures across Antigua. Popular activities in Antigua, from Stingray City to zip-lining adventures to safari land tours to cruises, sea circumnavigation and snorkeling tours are available once again. Tour operators have re-opened after Hurricane Irma and are providing visitors with unforgettable experiences.
Restaurants and bars have re-opened including popular beach establishments such as Beach Limers, Coconut Grove, Sheer Rocks, Turners, Darkwood Beach Bar and Restaurant, Trappas, Le Bistro, and the over 150 dining options to choose from in Antigua.
Close to 2000 of the country’s hotel room stock will be available by the end of October for the start of the peak winter season following traditional summer upgrades and renovations throughout resorts. Some of these resorts include Cocobay, Jumby Bay, Curtain Bluff, Carlisle Bay, Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, Heritage Quay Hotel, St. James’s Club, The Inn at English Harbor, and Nonsuch Bay. The first properties opening post-upgrades are Pineapple Beach Club and Blue Waters Resort and Spa opening on September 14th and September 21st respectively. Hotels and resorts that are open year-round are happily welcoming and hosting visitors to Antigua.
Antigua’s new, state-of-the-art, VC Bird International Airport and cruise ship berths are welcoming passengers from across the US, Canada, UK and Europe, and Caribbean.
Visitors can be inspired to find their personal paradise and learn more about what to do during their stay at www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.
ANTIGUA BACK TO NORMAL, Barbuda Relief Underway
St. John’s, Antigua, WI (September 8, 2017). The island of Antigua is open for business as normal activity returned after a brushing from Hurricane Irma. The V.C. Bird International Airport opened for all flights on Thursday, September 7 and electricity was restored to the Capital St Johns and most parts of the island.
Antigua, where the bulk of the tourism industry resides, is the larger and more populous of the two-island state of Antigua and Barbuda.
On the other hand, Barbuda and its 1,600 residents were severely impacted by the Hurricane which passed directly over the small island, resulting in one fatality. Ninety-five per cent of buildings including private properties and Government facilities were destroyed or extensively damaged. Barbuda’s hotel infrastructure was also damaged, but with less than 100 hotel rooms the overall effect on tourism as a whole is minimal.
The Country’s disaster recovery plan swung into full gear today. To speed-up the relief and rebuilding efforts, the Government declared a State of Emergency for Barbuda only and evacuated some residents on a voluntary basis. At the same time, emergency supplies of bottled water, cots, medicines have been purchased by the Government and planes chartered to fly them in the country.
The Government of Venezuela has also made two aircraft available to transport goods for Barbuda as well as a medical team of 20 doctors and nurses experienced in disasters.
Relief efforts, coordinated by the National office of Disaster Services along with the Red Cross, have started in earnest with multiple relief flights and vessels landing on Barbuda today.
Tourism Minister Asot. Michael said: “The Government will do whatever it takes in the short term to get Barbuda on its feet again. However, the best way to help our islands as we return to normal is for visitors to continue with their vacation plans or make plans to visit us soon to experience at first hand the warmth and hospitality of our people”.
Anyone wishing to immediately contribute to the relief effort can do so by sending donations to special accounts set up by the Government exclusively for the disaster relief.
Deposits locally and international bank wire transfers can be made to:
ANTIGUA COMMERCIAL BANK
Local deposits can be made to The Antigua Commercial Bank: Barbuda Relief and Rebuilding Fund: Account No. 100004717
Alternatively contributions can also be made to:
CARIBBEAN UNION BANK
Local deposits can also be made to The Caribbean Union Bank Barbuda Relief & Rebuilding Fund, Account No. 10001372
- FOR INCOMING US DOLLAR WIRE TRANSFERS:
56A: Intermediary Bank – Name and Address:
BNY Mellon, New York
SWIFT ID: IRVTUS3N
ABA #: 021000018
57A: Account with Institution – Name and Address
Crown Agents Bank Ltd, Sutton
SWIFT ID: CRASGB2L
59: Beneficiary Customer – Name and Address:
Caribbean Union Bank Ltd
Friars Hill Road, Antigua
SWIFT ID: CUNBAGAG
Account # 33178101
70: Ultimate Beneficiary Customer – Account Name, Number, Address
100-013-72 GOAB Barbuda Relief & Rebuilding Fund
FOR EURO DOLLAR WIRE TRANSFERS:
56A: Intermediary Bank – Name and Address:
DEUTSCHE BANK AG
SWIFT ID: DEUTDEFF
57A: Account With Institution – Name and Address
Crown Agents Bank Ltd, Sutton
SWIFT ID: CRASGB2L
59: Beneficiary Customer-Name and Address
Caribbean Union Bank Ltd
Friars Hill Road, Antigua
SWIFT ID: CUNBAGAG
Account # 33178401
70: Ultimate Beneficiary – Account Name, Number, Address
100-013-72 Barbuda Relief & Rebuilding Fund
Government Issues Voluntary Evacuation Order and imposed a State of Emergency for Barbuda
JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda – September 7, 2017……The Government of Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday imposed a State of Emergency on Barbuda and a Voluntary Evacuation Order.
Cabinet decided, in light of the destruction on the island of Barbuda caused by Hurricane Irma, to declare a State of Emergency for Barbuda only. The declaration of a State of Emergency in Barbuda is necessary for the Government to protect life and property there and to allow authorities to carry out necessary work for the immediate safety of the island and its rehabilitation, including the attraction of disaster relief from the international community.
The Government emphasizes that the State of Emergency does not apply to Antigua where normal life proceeds as usual, including the functioning of the airport and ports, government business, commercial activity, and social activities.
On Thursday, the Government also issued a voluntary evacuation order for Barbuda, encouraging senior citizens, disabled and infirmed persons to take advantage of the opportunity to relocate to Antigua. It was pointed out that should the twin island nation come under threat by Hurricane Jose, a mandatory evacuation order will be issued.
On September 6, Barbuda was hit by Hurricane Irma which severely damaged more than 90% of all buildings, and demolished approximately 30% of all homes there.
MAURICE F. MERCHANT
Director-General of Communications | Government of Antigua and Barbuda
Office of the Prime Minister|Queen Elizabeth Highway| St. John’s|Antigua and Barbuda
T: 268.462.9766 Ext 1067 | D: 268.462.9766 | F: 268.462.3225
ANTIGUA AVOIDS MAJOR DAMAGE WITH HURRICANE IRMA
VC Bird International Airport Re-Opens by 2:00 p.m. EST
St. John’s, Antigua, WI (September 6, 2017). Antigua has successfully coped with Hurricane Irma, defying the worst predictions of disaster. There was no loss of life. The local population and all visitors to the island are safe. Most residential, business and Hotel properties in Antigua remain largely unscathed and already the main roads have been cleared of the debris of fallen trees.
The V C Bird International Airport will be open by 2pm (Eastern Standard Time) today to accommodate arriving and departing aircraft and passengers. Visitors are encouraged to contact the relevant airlines and tour operators if their flights were affected.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in a statement earlier today, said that “the work that the Government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends. The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease.
“The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours”. Asot Michael, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy said. “All our visitors remained safe during Hurricane Irma. The island’s Hotels suffered only minimal damage and have already commenced clean-up operations”.
Conditions on Barbuda are not fully clear as yet, but preliminary reports indicate no loss of life and only some damage to private property and one Government facility. Minister Michael indicated that he would be travelling to Barbuda today to assess damage that will be addressed immediately.
“The important take away from all this is that Antigua and Barbuda remains open for business and is already resuming normal life including welcoming visitors to enjoy our little bit of paradise which God continues to protect”, the Minister concluded.
Statement by the Hon Gaston Browne. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
Preliminary remarks on the passage of Hurricane Irma
6th September 2017
My first words must be of thanks.
Thanks to Almighty God in all his forms for standing at our side at a time of great adversity. There is no doubt that the Good Lord is on our side. We in Antigua have weathered the most powerful hurricane ever to storm its way through the Caribbean. And we have done so with stunning results.
The forecast was that Antigua would be devastated, our infrastructure demolished, people killed and our economy destroyed. In the light of day, the picture is very different. In Antigua, no life has been lost – all the people survived. The guests in our hotels are all well. Even our animals were protected from this massive storm. Our airport will be open for flights into and out of Antigua by 2pm today. The people of Antigua should all be very proud of the part that each of them played in our impressive story of readiness and resilience.
I dare to say that no other country in the Caribbean would have been as well prepared as we were. People heeded the warnings of my government to treat Hurricane Irma with absolute seriousness, and everyone did. Properties were properly shuttered and protected, and neighbours and friends opened their homes to less fortunate persons to shelter through the long night.
There was a chain of brotherhood and sisterhood that strengthened our collective resolve. The work that the government initiated in advance of the storm paid remarkable dividends.
The drains, gutters and reservoirs that were cleared in advance, ensured that the island experienced no flooding, hence eliminating the possibility of water-borne disease.
While there has been property damage, it is not anywhere near the horrendous injury that was feared. The essential point is that our main infrastructure has stood-up and our country can resume normal life within hours.
From early this morning, the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force has been on the streets clearing fallen trees and debris. They were followed by contingents from the Solid Waste Unit.
Ours has been an exceptional story of resilience, honed by past experience and by the high level of our preparedness to confront the challenges of the world’s mightiest and most dangerous hurricane. With regard to Barbuda, preliminary reports indicate damage to rooves and to some buildings, but I have had no report of any fatalities.
Barbuda too benefited from a high level of readiness, responsive to the urgings of the government and from the preparations that were made in advance, including the shelter constructed for that purpose.
I was able to drive through many areas of Antigua since 5.30 this morning and I was heartened by what I saw. I intend to visit Barbuda at the earliest opportunity to see conditions on the island for myself. Meantime, it is clear that Antigua and Barbuda has stood up to a mighty test. Our preparedness led to impressive resilience.
Our people are safe, our country is secure and our piece of paradise remains open to be shared by people from all over the world.
God bless you, and God continue to bless our beloved land – Antigua and Barbuda.
MAURICE F. MERCHANT
Director-General of Communications | Government of Antigua and Barbuda
Office of the Prime Minister|Queen Elizabeth Highway| St. John’s|Antigua and Barbuda; T: 268.462.9766 Ext 1067 | D: 268.462.9766 | F: 268.462.3225
E: [email protected] | [email protected]
- The Bahamas
HURRICANE IRMA AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS 12:00 PM EDT, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017
The Bahamas is open for business
NASSAU, Bahamas – Tuesday, September 12, 2017: The Bahamas is getting back to business as airports are open in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and on nearly all Out Islands; international flights resume, including service to some Florida airports; and ports have reopened allowing cruise ships to begin to return.
The Bahamas are very fortunate as nearly all islands escaped severe damage but our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those adversely affected by Hurricane Irma, both in our islands as well as our neighbors to the south and north.
Throughout the major tourist areas, such as Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, The Abacos and The Exumas, hotels are resuming normal operations and welcoming more guests while visitors return to beaches and attractions.
Parts of the southern islands were more heavily impacted with damage ranging from cosmetic to severe structural damage. Assessment of Ragged Island continues, but other islands, such as Acklins Island, Crooked Island, Inaugua and Mayaguana are mostly cleared. Full assessments throughout The Islands of The Bahamas began Monday, and will continue throughout the week.
AIRPORTS All airports throughout The Islands of The Bahamas are open, and travelers should contact their respective airlines for flight information.
Nassau and Paradise Island Airlines have resumed operating inbound and outbound international and domestic flights at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau. Bahamasair will resume service into the United States today, Tuesday, Sept. 12, at the following airports: • Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport • Orlando International Airport • Miami International Airport
Grand Bahama Island While airlines are operating international flights out of Grand Bahama International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Pre-Clearance is currently unavailable and will be reinstated at a later date.
Out Islands International service has resumed from Exuma International Airport in The Exumas and Marsh Harbour Airport in The Abacos today, Tuesday, Sept. 12. Travelers should continue to check with carriers for schedule updates, as some carriers have added additional services.
HOTELS The majority of hotel and resorts throughout The Islands of The Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to reopen on their regularly scheduled dates. Reservation holders are encouraged to contact their respective hotels for more information.
Nassau and Paradise Island Hotels on Nassau and Paradise Island received no damage. While many remained open, others are resuming normal operation: • Atlantis, Paradise Island and Warwick Paradise Island remained open during the storm and continue to welcome guests. • Baha Mar Resort and Casino resumes full hotel, casino and retail operations today, Tuesday, Sept. 12. • Melia Nassau Beach Resort is open and will resume full operations on Wednesday, Sept. 13. • One&Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island will be welcoming guests as of Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Grand Bahama Island Grand Bahama hotels will begin resuming operations on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
CRUISE The Port of Nassau and the Freeport Harbour are open for business. Cruise Lines will resume sailing to The Islands of The Bahamas on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Cruise reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on Bahamas.com/storms.
THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS RETURNING TO NORMAL OPERATIONS, 9:00 AM EDT, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017
Lynden Pindling International Airport open, along with major hotels in Nassau
NASSAU, Bahamas – Monday, September 11, 2017: The Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau is open and international flights are beginning to return to The Bahamas. Additionally, the Port of Nassau is open and cruise ships are expected to arrive on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Hotels and resorts including Atlantis, Paradise Island, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Warwick Paradise Island, Baha Mar, Melia Nassau Beach Resort and the Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma are set to welcome guests.
There are currently no reports of severe damage to the tourism product throughout the islands, and The Bahamas and all are grateful for this good fortune. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who were not as fortunate and we will seek to assist as we can.
Nassau and Paradise Island were not impacted by Hurricane Irma and across the island people have returned to work at hotels, airports, the port and attractions after cosmetic clean-up. Assessments across the islands will begin today and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will continue to share updates as available.
Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, in addition to all government airports throughout The Bahamas, is open and international flights are beginning to return. Grand Bahama International Airport is expected to open tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 12.
Below is information on hotel status at this time. Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.
Nassau and Paradise Island
- Atlantis, Paradise Island – open
- Sandals Royal Bahamian – open
- Warwick Paradise Island – open
- Baha Mar Resort and Casino – open Tuesday, September 12
- Melia Nassau Beach Resort – open Wednesday, September 13
- Sandals Emerald Bay – open
The Port of Nassau reopened on Sunday, Sept. 10. However, no vessels are expected to arrive until Wednesday, Sept. 13. All other ports remain closed at this time. Cruise reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on Bahamas.com/storms.
HURRICANE IRMA AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS 2:00 PM EDT, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017
Hurricane Warnings discontinued for the entire Bahamas
NASSAU, Bahamas – Sunday, September 10, 2017: Hurricane warnings have been lifted for all of The Islands of The Bahamas, however, tropical storm warnings remain in effect for Grand Bahama and Bimini. There are no reports of severe damage to tourism infrastructure across the islands, the Lynden Pindling International Airport and Port of Nassau have already reopened.
The all clear has been given for the remainder of The Islands of The Bahamas. This includes the islands of Abaco, Andros, The Berry Islands, New Providence, Eleuthera, Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island, Rum Cay, Andros, San Salvador, Inagua, Mayaguna, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Ragged Island, and Samana Cay.
The Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau has reopened. However, there are no US and International flights operating today, Sunday, September 10 except for Copa Airlines to Panama and an incoming Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta. Limited domestic flights are operating today. Travelers should contact their respective airlines for flight information.
The remaining airports will resume operations once the facilities have been assessed and cleared for opening.
Baha Mar Resort and Casino will resume full hotel, casino and retail operations and will welcome guests back on Tuesday, September 12.
The Port of Nassau reopened today, however no vessels are expected until Wednesday, September 13. All other ports remain closed. Cruise reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries.
There are no reports of severe damage to the tourism product throughout the Islands of The Bahamas, at this time. However, assessments will be ongoing and updates will continue to be posted. The water has returned to Long Island without incident.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on Bahamas.com/storms.
HURRICANE IRMA AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS 1:00 PM EDT, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017
NASSAU, Bahamas – Saturday, September 9, 2017: The all clear has been given for Nassau, New Providence the most populous island, and popular destination within the country. The all clear for the Central and Southeastern Bahamas was issued earlier today.
At this time only Grand Bahama, Bimini, and Andros remain under a hurricane warning as Hurricane Irma moves away from the islands-nation.
Hurricane Jose is not expected to pose a threat to The Islands Of The Bahamas at this time; Jose is expected to turn away from The Bahamas after passing the Leeward Islands.
The Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau sustained no damage from Hurricane Irma and will resume operations on Sunday, September 10 at 5:00 a.m.
The travelling public will be encouraged to contact their respective airlines for flight information using the listing of all airlines and their contacts found on LPIA’s website at www.nassaulpia.com.
All other airports throughout The Islands of The Bahamas remain closed, but operations will resume as soon as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gives the “all clear” and the airports have been assessed and cleared for opening.
Ports of entry throughout The Bahamas will also be assessed for clearance to re-open. Cruise reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on Bahamas.com/storms. The Ministry’s thoughts and prayers remain with the people and countries adversely impacted by Irma and will be seeking to assist where possible. The number for the Tourism Emergency Coordinating Committee’s Command Center at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau is 1 (242) 302 – 9086.
HURRICANE IRMA AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS : 3:00 PM EDT, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017
NASSAU, Bahamas – Thursday, September 7, 2017: Hurricane conditions are spreading westward over portion of the Central Bahamas as a hurricane warning continues for the entire Bahamas. A hurricane warning remains in effect for the entire Bahamas as Hurricane Irma is expected to impact the country with tropical storm and hurricane force winds, significant rainfall and strong waves over the next 36 hours.
Hurricane conditions are presently spreading over south Long Island and over Ragged Island, while tropical storm force winds are now occurring over the Turks and Caicos Islands, Inagua, Mayaguana, Rum Cay and San Salvador. Tropical storm conditions will begin to spread into Eleuthera, Andros and New Providence this afternoon and tonight.
There are no visitors on Inagua, Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Long Cay, Samana Cay and Ragged Island.
There are a total of 2,184 visitors throughout The Islands of The Bahamas. There are 181 visitors on the Family Islands, 3 on Grand Bahama and approximately 2,000 in Nassau/Paradise Island. The breakdown is as follows:
- ABACO – 1
- BERRY ISLANDS – 22
- ANDROS – 1
- Boater moved to a shelter in North Andros
- ELEUTHERA – 96
- International students and teachers at the Island School
- EXUMA – 61
- LONG ISLAND – 0
- BIMINI – 0
- All visitors were able to leave the island on Wednesday and Thursday
- GRAND BAHAMA – 3
- HARBOUR ISLAND – 0
- SAN SALVADOR – 0
- NASSAU/PI – approximately 2,000
All hotels and resorts throughout The Islands of The Bahamas have activated their hurricane programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents where necessary.
The following airports closed on September 7:
- RAGGED ISLAND
- CROOKED ISLAND
- LONG ISLAND
- RUM CAY
- EXUMA & THE CAYS
- SAN SALVADOR
- CAT ISLAND
The following airports will close on Friday, September 8:
- ANDROS, CONGO TOWN & MANGROVE CAY: Closing at 11:00 a.m. on September 8
- ANDROS, FRESH CREEK AND SAN ANDROS: Closing at 4:00 p.m. on September 8
- THE ABACOS: Closing at Sunset on September 8
- GRAND BAHAMA: Closing at 12:00 p.m. on September 8
- BERRY ISLANDS: Closing at Sunset on September 8
- BIMINI: Closing at Sunset on September 8
Airport operations will resume once the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gives the “All Clear” and the airports have been assessed and cleared for opening.
All cruise ships have been rerouted away from ports of The Bahamas to other destinations.
Ferry services will suspend service to Grand Bahama Island as the port will close on Friday, September 8 at noon.
The Islands Of The Bahamas will be releasing updates on the tracking of Hurricane Irma on Bahamas.com/storms. The number for the Tourism Emergency Coordinating Committee’s Command Center at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau is 1 (242) 302 – TBD.
STATEMENT REGARDING OPERATIONS AT LPIA DUE TO HURRICANE IRMA
Issued by Nassau Airport Development Company Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 3:00pm
The Nassau Airport Development Company announces that operations will continue as normal at Lynden Pindling International Airport through to end of day, Thursday, September 7th, 2017. All stakeholders are encouraged to complete the securing of their premises and vehicles in order to have the best possible outcome. The public is reminded to check with their individual airline regarding any changes in flight times, or cancellations. Airport operations will resume only when the “All Clear” is given by the Met Department/National Emergency Management Agency, after which all airport employees will be expected to safely report for duty to assess any damage, clean up and restore premises to normal condition, for the ordinary resumption of operations. A statement will be issued by NAD to advise the traveling public as to when the airport resumes full operations. The public is requested to listen carefully to the formal media for updates regarding both cessation and resumption of airport operations as there might be changes in the forward movement of Hurricane Irma requiring adjustments to the operations timelines.
STATEMENT FROM BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM ON AIRPORT CLOSURES
NASSAU, The Bahamas, September 6, 2017 – The Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in New Providence will close at the end of day Thursday, September 7th, 2017 due to the impending arrival of Category 5 Hurricane Irma. Visitors wishing to leave the country are encouraged to check with their individual airline regarding availability.
The following airports will close on Thursday, September 7:
INAGUA: Closing 12:00 p.m. on September 7
RAGGED ISLAND: Closing at Sunset on September
ACKLINS: Closing at Sunset on September 7
CROOKED ISLAND: Closing at Sunset on September 7
MAYAGUNA: Closing at 12:00 p.m. on September 7
LONG ISLAND: Closing at Sunset on September 7
RUM CAY: Closing at Sunset on September
EXUMA & THE CAYS: Closing at Sunset on September
SAN SALVADOR: Closing at Sunset on September 7
CAT ISLAND: Closing at Sunset on September 7
ELEUTHERA: Closing at Sunset on September 7
The following airports will close on Friday, September 8:
ANDROS, CONGO TOWN & MANGROVE CAY: Closing at 11:00 a.m. on September 8 ANDROS, FRESH CREEK AND SAN ANDROS: Closing at 4:00 p.m. on September 8
THE ABACOS: Closing at Sunset on September 8
GRAND BAHAMA: Closing at 12:00 p.m. on September 8
BERRY ISLANDS: Closing at Sunset on September 8
BIMINI: Closing at Sunset on September 8
HURRICANE IRMA AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS
6:00 PM EDT, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017
Next update Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM EDT
NASSAU, Bahamas – Based on the projected path and forecast of Hurricane Irma, a hurricane watch is now in effect for Inagua, Acklins, Crooked Islands, Mayaguana, Long Cay, Semana Cay and Ragged Islands in the southeast of The Bahamas. Hurricane conditions are expected in these islands within 48 hours. The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism anticipates temporary closure of airports and ports on these southernmost islands, and those with travel plans that include these islands are advised to check directly with their air carriers and hotels regarding reservations. Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Grand Bahama International Airport, cruise ports and other facilities throughout the islands are remain OPEN and will continue to be monitored closely. As of 12pm EDT Sept. 5 no flights servicing The Bahamas have been cancelled, however cruise lines are altering their itineraries and passengers should contact cruise lines directly for updates. All hotels and resorts throughout The Bahamas have activated their hurricane response programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents, as safety remains the highest priority.
The Bahamas is an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays, spread over 100,000 square miles; there could be a tropical storm or hurricane warning for the southern islands the central and northern islands remain unaffected.
All visitors and potential visitors are advised to follow the progress of Hurricane Irma closely (www.nhc.noaa.gov).
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will continue to monitor Hurricane Irma and will provide updates as the situation warrants.
*All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
Media Contact: Anita Johnson-Patty – [email protected]
- British Virgin Islands
Sept. 14th, 2017 – British Virgin Islands Update – Statement by Governor Augustus Jaspert
“Ports are opened to receive food and supplies. We are hoping to open the airport to commercial flights very soon.”
Hurricane Irma Update Sept. 12
September 12, 2017 — As the Government of the British Virgin Islands continues to assess the significant damage sustained during Hurricane Irma, all travelers in need of assistance are encouraged to consult with the BVI Tourist Board office. The priority in the coming days is to ensure that all remaining visitors are safely transported out of the territory.
- Virgin Gorda: The Tourist Board office is located at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Current hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please be reminded that a curfew remains in effect on Virgin Gorda from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m.
- Tortola: The Tourist Board office on Tortola is not currently in operation. While we work to get the Tourist Board office back up and running, those who require assistance on Tortola should visit the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) which is operating out of Peebles Hospital in Road Town.
At these two centers, staff will provide assistance in coordinating departures from the islands. Yesterday, the team on the ground helped American visitors board a ferry to St. Thomas for transportation to Miami via Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise ships.
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of a relative or loved one who was in the territory at the time of the storm, please contact [email protected]. This email account is monitored by the staff of the BVI Department of Disaster Management and will assist with all inquiries. As we work to restore communications including mobile phone and internet service, this is the most efficient channel to seek information about those remaining in the territory.
The Governor, Premier, and Commissioner of Police are continuously monitoring the recovery efforts throughout the BVI. The BVI London and New York offices remain in contact with the Government and will share frequent updates as they become available. For further information, please visit www.facebook.com/BritishVirginIs.
Hurricane Irma Update Sept. 6
Hurricane Irma – a category 5 hurricane – passed through the British Virgin Islands Wednesday, September 6th at around 2:00 pm AST. Reports show that the storm hit the territory directly. While the full extent of the damage is unknown at this time, it is clear the islands have been severely impacted.
At present most communications remain down, including mobile phone service and internet access. For the time being, this will make it difficult for those trying to reach the territory in order to connect with family and friends.
The Government has begun to coordinate humanitarian relief efforts and an initial clean-up operation. The BVI London and New York offices will remain in contact with the Government to receive information as it becomes available.
As we further assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, we will issue additional statements.
Contact: Perla George; Business Development Director; BVI Tourist Board; 212-563-3117;
Text “BVI” to 707070 to donate to the BVI Recovery Fund
Or visit http://pledgeling.us/bvi
Statement from Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of Tourism for the British Virgin Islands
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands has been devastating. With cell phone towers down and power outages, it has been difficult to receive communication from within the territory, and to fully assess the damage. The destination has lost entire structures and many homes are without roofs, or have been diminished to merely foundations. Sadly, there may have been fatalities in the territory, but there are none confirmed at this time as we are still in the assessment process, which has been a challenge due to lack of communication.
The Government has begun to coordinate humanitarian relief efforts and an initial clean-up operation. We received word that the UK government is sending Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean to offer relief and support, hopefully arriving tomorrow, September 8th.
Hurricane Jose, a Category 3 hurricane, is slated to reach the destination this weekend, so we are doing our best to make sure people in the BVI are making safety a priority.
Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the people of the BVI, and send donations to the BVI Recovery Fund, set up on behalf of the government, in partnership with Pledgeling.
We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support for the BVI community. The people of the British Virgin Islands are resilient and we are confident we will be able to rebuild.
For news and updates of the recovery in the British Virgin Islands, visit their website: http://www.bviddm.com/
Statement by Minister of Tourism Emilie Jessy Menos
Sept 11: In the wake of Hurricane Irma’s devastating impact in the Caribbean, Haiti is thankful to have emerged unscathed. In our shared spirit of community within the Caribbean, Haiti extends its hospitality, as well as any and all relief assistance, to all islands affected.
All services remain in operation and we continue to welcome visitors. Travellers are advised to contact their local travel agent or booking agent for detailed arrangements about their bookings.
Little Bay, Montserrat (September 8, 2017). Montserrat is pleased to report that thankfully we have emerged unscathed following the passage of hurricane Irma on September 6th, 2017. All services continue to operate as normal and the island continues to welcome visitors.
Holidaymakers who have booked a holiday or are planning to visit, should contact their local Tour Operator or Travel Agent for detailed information about their travel arrangements. Please also contact the Tourism Division, Office of the Premier on 664 491 4702/3 for travel details from Antigua to Montserrat.
- Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Welcomes Vacationers Post-Hurricane Irma and Becomes Transient Hub for Tourists from Nearby Caribbean Islands
- Puerto Rico resumes regular operation of hotels, sites and attractions.
- Strong tourism infrastructure has helped the tourism industry go undisrupted and serve as a transient hub for travelers across the Caribbean.
- Over 3,000 travelers have been diverted to Puerto Rico.
September 12, 2017 03:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s tourism infrastructure has allowed the Island to resume regular operations of hotels, sites and attractions beginning this week. The Island is continuing to welcome travelers with planned vacations in September and beyond, and has also become a transient hub for travelers across the Caribbean. Efforts over the past week have helped over 3,000 tourists from neighboring Caribbean islands be diverted to Puerto Rico, in addition to mobilizing industry partners to coordinate collections of supplies and donations.
“Today, nearly all hotels in Puerto Rico are operational and apt to continue receiving guests. We’re very fortunate that it’s business as usual across the Island and we’re already back on our feet,” said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC). “Our Caribbean neighbors need support so we’ve been mobilizing our industry to not only take in travelers who have had their vacations disrupted to serve as a transient hub for them, but also help with relief efforts being conducted by local and U.S. authorities.”
In addition to welcoming new vacationers and resuming regular operations, following are examples of industry partners who have opened their doors to transient travelers and mobilized support efforts:
- Marriott hotels including San Juan Marriott, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and AC Hotel by Marriott welcomed approximately 700 guests from St. Thomas, St. Maarten and St. John.
- Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Rio Grande, has welcomed approximately 300 guests from St. Thomas. Additionally, crew from the St. Thomas air traffic control center are staying on the property, who travel daily to and from St. Thomas.
- The staff members of FEMA are staying at the InterContinental San Juan, where they have found suitable facilities and services to lead the disaster response and recovery efforts of the areas in need.
- Hotels in the San Juan area, including The Verdanza Hotel, Condado Plaza and Caribe Hilton have mobilized the local community to gather donations for neighbor islands.
El Conquistador Resort, The Meliá Coco Beach, Hotel El Convento and all Marriott and Hilton properties on the island, among others, are also in full operation, taking reservations for future travelers, and welcoming new guests.
To date, the Government of Puerto Rico with support from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the Puerto Rico Department of State, the National Guard, the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management, among others, has set up operational bases at the San Juan International Airport in order to assist transient passengers arriving in C-130 aircrafts and get them safely to hotels on the island. The U.S. National Guard has picked up over a two thousand tourists from neighboring islands and brought them to Puerto Rico for lodging, food and any medical assistance.
While some power outages are present throughout the Island, most of the Island has their power back and the majority of the hotels, as well as essential services on the island such as hospitals and supermarkets, have electric service and are fully operational.
For those interested in setting home base in Puerto Rico to help with post-hurricane Irma efforts for neighboring Caribbean islands, please contact the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management at 787.724.0124 or visit http://www2.pr.gov/agencias/aemead/Pages/Home.aspx.
Visitors with questions about travel to Puerto Rico can call the PRTC hotline at 877.976.2400 or call their hotels directly for more information.
For more information on emergency services, resources and information about hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico visit http://puertoriconow.seepuertorico.com/.
PUERTO RICO TOURISM CONFIRMS MAJOR TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE AND ATTRACTIONS ARE OPERATIONAL AFTER HURRICANE IRMA
- Continued Recovery Efforts Underway as Puerto Rico Works to Ensure Safety of Guests and Residents.
- Hotels in Puerto Rico are Operational.
- Flights have resumed to Puerto Rico.
(September 8, 2017 – San Juan, PR) While the assessment of impact across the island continues, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s preliminary report shows that major tourism infrastructure and attractions are operational and the island can continue to welcome new visitors. While power outages are present throughout the Island, many hotels, as well as essential services on the island such as hospitals, are operational due to generators and the majority of hotels throughout mainland Puerto Rico are ready to welcome new guests. Attractions such as parks and beaches are currently being assessed to ensure a committed focus on quick clean up in the coming days.
Flights to and from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport have resumed. Puerto Rico’s port is operational and should be receiving cruises by September 9.
“Our thoughts are with our Caribbean neighbors who have also been impacted by this storm and those on the U.S. mainland who may still be in harm’s way. After an early assessment this morning, we can attest to the fact that nearly all hotels in Puerto Rico are operational and apt to continue receiving guests. The public and private sectors worked together to implement emergency plans. Hotels and tourist attractions across the Island implemented safety measures before the storm that have allowed them to recover quickly. Travelers planning to visit Puerto Rico can be confident in that their travel plans should not be affected, and that our industry is ready to continue providing the quality experience that distinguishes us. ” said Jose Izquierdo, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Throughout the storm, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company worked together with the private sector to manage all inquiries from concerned travelers and coordinated with other government agencies on efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma’s potential impact.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company continues to work with all tourism partners to further assess damage and ensure tourist sites can resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
It is anticipated that the Puerto Rico Tourism Company offices will be open on Monday, September 11, and further updates will be available as the island is further assessed.
Those with questions about accommodations can call the Puerto Rico Tourism Company hotline at 877.976.2400. Information on response and recovery efforts, please contact the Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management at 787.724.0124 or through their website http://www2.pr.gov/agencias/aemead/Pages/Home.aspx
For more information on emergency services and resources of information for Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico visit http://puertoriconow.seepuertorico.com/.
About Puerto Rico Tourism Company
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), founded in 1970, is a public corporation responsible for stimulating, promoting and regulating the development of the tourism industry. It markets Puerto Rico as a tourism destination through advertising, public relations and promotional activities; promotes tourism among visitors and local residents; provides visitor orientation and technical assistance to investors; evaluates tourism facilities and establishes standards of quality; and regulates and oversees gaming operations. PRTC has offices and representatives in the U.S. mainland, Canada, Europe and Latin America.
Ingrid Rosa, Senior Account Executive:
O: +1 646 935 4248; M: +1 347 324 8991
- St Eustatius
Director of tourism Charles Lindo says St. Eustatius was spared the worst by Hurricane Irma – telephone, electricity and internet are back up and both the airport and seaport are open.
Listen to click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2wQwDGh
- St Kitts & Nevis
St. Kitts is Ready to Welcome Visitors
Basseterre, St. Kitts (Sept. 15, 2017) – St. Kitts is pleased to report that the island’s airport, cruise port and all tourism providers are open and resuming normal operations, as it was fortunate to be virtually unscathed by Hurricane Irma.
American Airlines’ daily non-stop flights to St. Kitts’ Robert L, Bradshaw International Airport from Miami have resumed today with the Saturday JFK non-stop scheduled to resume on tomorrow. Seaborne Airlines’ Daily non-stop flights to St. Kitts from San Juan have also resumed tomorrow. All hotels and resorts are fully operational and the Park Hyatt St. Kitts remains on schedule to debut November 1.
“We are thrilled to get back to business as usual and ready to welcome visitors,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “For those who planning to travel to island, we look forward to providing a world-class experience and all the warm Kittitian hospitality for which we have become known.”
Cruise lines have resumed scheduled port calls to St. Kitts, with passengers from The Carnival Fascination enjoying the island’s various attractions and activities last Friday. Over the course of the next week, a total of four vessels are scheduled to dock at Port Zante, including Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas on September 21. With the arrival of the Carnival Magic on September 20, St. Kitts expects to welcome it’s one millionth passenger this year. A historic first for the island, the occasion also raises St. Kitts to marquee port status.
At this time, we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by the storm, particularly to those in need of emergency relief. For anyone wishing to donate to the recovery efforts of those islands most severely impacted by the hurricane, two official Caribbean Relief Funds are:
- The Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund at www.tourismcares.org/caribbean
- The Caribbean Tourism Association Hurricane Relief Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto
For more information about the St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.
Cathy A. Preece / Candice Kimmel
Adams Unlimited; Phone: (212) 956-5900 / E-mail: [email protected]
St. Kitts Hurricane Irma Update
Basseterre, St. Kitts (September 7, 2017) – We are pleased to report that the Federation is virtually unscathed following the passage of Hurricane Irma. Considering the minimal damage that was sustained, the islands’ tourism providers are in the process of reopening. Hotels are returning to business as usual and guests are continuing to enjoy their stays. Our restaurants, attractions and shops including the many popular retail outlets at Port Zante are now open, with The Carnival Fascination confirmed to visit St. Kitts tomorrow as planned.
“Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has kept St. Kitts & Nevis in thoughts and prayers while we awaited the passage of the storm,” said Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant. While we are beginning to resume normal operations, please join me in continuing to send thoughts and prayers to those who have been more seriously impacted.”
As of noon today, St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) is open and accepting flights. However, due to the projected path of Hurricane Irma over Florida and potentially Georgia as well as the prospective impact of Hurricane Jose, many airlines have canceled flights departing Saturday and Sunday from the US into the region. We recommend you check with your airline for schedule and service changes.
St. Kitts is open for business. For more information about the island, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.
Update #4: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 at 9:00pm EDT
The eye of Hurricane Irma passed to the north of St. Kitts & Nevis earlier today. The Federation has sustained minimal damage overall. Hotels are reporting no structural damage and all visitors are safe and accounted for. St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) reopens as of noon tomorrow. The hurricane warning has been discontinued as of 11:00AM EDT and the flash flood watch that was issued up to 3:00PM EDT today has also been discontinued with immediate effect. Per the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and The Chair of the Executive of the National Emergency Operations Center, Deputy Prime Minister the Honourable Shawn Richards, the general public has been advised that the ALL CLEAR has been given to local citizens. Updated information will be provided as it becomes available.
Anyone who had planned to travel to the island this week is advised to contact their hotel and airline directly regarding their policies for handling storm related reservation changes and cancellations.
We continue to thank everyone who has been keeping us in their thoughts and prayers and join them in extending the same to everyone who has been or will be impacted by the storm.
Nevis Resorts Report Minimal Damage from Hurricane Irma
Charlestown, Nevis, September 6, 2017 — Initial reports out of Nevis are positive as Hurricane Irma moves away from the island, although there is still no All Clear as of noon today. It is expected that electricity will be back this evening or tomorrow. The Category 5 storm passed close to the island although it was not a direct hit so damage has fortunately been minimal.
As of this morning, the island reports light but steady rain and strong winds approximately that of a Category 1 storm.
Initial observations from Four Seasons Resort Nevis, the islands largest resort, reports that the resort is in excellent shape and all areas are generally dry. The beautiful Pinney’s Beach is in good shape, otherwise there are some trees down and there is debris to be cleaned up.
Hermitage Inn, too, is reporting just general debris and no structural damage.
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club has experienced no serious issues following the hurricane, other than damage to some trees and debris. The Great House remains in ideal condition, as do the guest cottages. “We are extremely fortunate to have fared as well as we have given the size of this monstrous storm,” says General Manager Tim Thuell, also Chairman of the Board for the Nevis Tourism Authority.
“Our thoughts turn now to clean up and to the safety and well-being of our Caribbean neighbors and friends who are still in harm’s way,” he says.
It is anticipated that the Nevis Tourism Authority offices will be open tomorrow, September 7, 2017, and further updates will be available as the island is further assessed
Nevis Braces for Hurricane Irma
Charlestown, Nevis, September 5, 2017 — According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma became a Category 5 hurricane on the morning of Tuesday, September 5 and is headed toward the Leeward Islands. As of 11:00AM AST, Irma is moving West at 14 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. Hurricane Irma is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to the north eastern parts of the Caribbean. Irma is expected to produce total rainfall accumulation of 4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches in the Northern Leeward Islands, The British and US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
A hurricane warning has been issued for Nevis as it is in the predicted path of Hurricane Irma. The storm is projected to reach the island by Tuesday evening (September 5) or early Wednesday (September 6). A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. In this case, for some of easternmost islands, the hurricane conditions are expected within the next 12 to 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Disaster management professionals are encouraging those in low lying and flood prone areas to evacuate and move to family and friends in less exposed areas or to the closest emergency shelters. Emergency shelters will be open at 4pm today.
The Honourable Vance Amory, premier of Nevis and minister responsible for the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMO), released a statement on Monday, September on the impending passage of Hurricane Irma and issued directives to residents.
He convened a meeting with the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) and all of the heads of departments in Nevis, with respect to the levels of preparedness to face the impact of Irma with every single department – health, fire services, police, public works, agriculture, education, etc. “It is clear that all of the heads of department have been very keen on ensuring that the preparatory work has been done. However, it is my duty to advise every single citizen, every single householder, that you have a responsibility to secure your premises to ensure that your loss is minimized. It is also important that you take care of your animals and your other movable property. Secure them so that they can be safe in case of a strike from Hurricane Irma,” he stated.
Hotels on Nevis have been readying for the storm. As of Monday, September 4, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis was in the final stages of implementing their Hurricane Plan. The resort was anticipating its last guests in house to depart this morning, September 5 and they planned a precautionary closure of the resort at 1PM today until after the passing of Irma to ensure the safety of guests and employees. Other resorts have planned similar readiness strategies.
Passengers with plans to fly to St. Kitts and Nevis within the next week should refer to their airline regarding the status of their flights and to make any relevant rebookings.
– Travel Advisory: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp
– Customer Service: 1-800-433-7300
Expedia Customer Service: 1-855-716-1774
We will continue to monitor the situation in Nevis and report updates as they become available.
Media Contact: Inez Freund (212) 490-2098
Hurricane Maria : Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport closed
As a direct consequence of Hurricane Maria, now classified as a category 3 Hurricane and currently hitting Martinique, the Martinique Aimé Césaire International Airport is now closed.
All flights have been canceled and passagers are asked to revert to their respective airlines for any updates on their flight schedule.
Martinique is today on Purple alert, the ultimate scale in preventive measures as defined by the French Government.
The Airport Management team plans a reopening of the airport tomorrow September 19th as from 7 AM with full assistance to all passengers upon approval of local authorities. Updated information will be released on airport operations on September 19th.
In the meantime, we shall recommend all our passengers to strictly follow the safety instructions released by the authorities.
Chargée de Communication
+596 596 42 40 71 / +596 696 28 66 74
- St Martin & St. Maarten
Sept 14, 2017
International press release from President Daniel Gibbs – Saint-Martin
The president of the Collectivité of Saint-Martin, Mr. Daniel Gibbs, wishes to make a statement about the situation on the island since the passage of hurricane IRMA, on September 6th, 2017.
Phase 1 of the post-hurricane organization consisted in managing on the one hand, the urgency in terms of taking care of the wounded, sick or distressed, but also the tourists by organizing the evacuation from the island. On the other hand, the security of the territory by the massive arrival of French military and Police forces. Today this first phase is accomplished and the security of the territory is under control.
The Collectivité of Saint-Martin is now working with its partners on Phase 2 on the post-hurricane organization which consists of:
– Cleaning up debris, bulky items and waste transported by the hurricane
– Distribution of water, food and materials to the population
– Rehabilitation of water, sanitation and electricity networks.
Most of our tourists are back in their homeland. A group of experts should arrive very soon on the island to realize an evaluation of the hotels, residences and guest houses to help in the rebuilt of the touristic infrastructures.
The meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017, gave an opportunity to President Gibbs to explain the urgent needs of the community, particularly in terms of reconstruction of the territory, helping the population and businesses to restart a normal life, through accompanying measures that will be defined within the partnership established between the State and the Collectivité.
This phase of work (Phase 3) has already been the subject of in-depth work by the president and his teams with two major objectives:
– an effortless support of the Saint-Martiners and a rapid and sustainable reconstruction and development of the territory in order for Saint-Martin to regain a rapid economic activity.
President Gibbs and his team will do everything in their power to restore the territory’s attractiveness and warmly thanks all the tourism partners and operators around the world who are supporting us in this difficult time and are still willing to assist us in promoting the destination in order for Saint-Martin to become again one of the most appreciated destination in the Caribbean region.
Sept 9, 2017
St. Maarten’s director of tourism Rolando Brison, in an update on Saturday 9 October on the recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma, announces that a number of tourists have been evacuated, Hurricane Jose won’t score a direct hit and efforts are being made to reopen the Princess Juliana International Airport to relief flights tomorrow (Sunday).
Listen to Rolando by clicking on the following link: http://bit.ly/2xTsJMr
Sept 8, 2017: Director of Tourism, Rolando Brison speaks with CTO’s Communications Specialist, Johnson Johnrose about the state of the country.
St. Maarten is hoping to open the Princess Juliana International Airport to commercial flights in another week or so. Director of Tourism Rolando Brison speaks of the impact of the storm and the recovery effort in this CTO interview.
Sept 6, 2017: The French government this morning gave an update on the impact of Hurricane Irma on St Bart and St. Martin. The message below appeared on the Twitter account of the French administrative office in Guadeloupe. Roughly translated:
- The fire station is under 1m of water and fire engine are out of service. Firefighters are taking refuge of the first floor.
- Several homes have been damaged and roofs blown off.
- There is a total electricity blackout and the main EDF sub station is out of action.
- Government offices have been partly destroyed.
- The island prefect and 23 staff are taking shelter in a concrete-lined room.
- The fire station has been damaged
- The island has been without electricity since 6am
- Police have reported several roofs have blown off in the storm
- Turks & Caicos
Royal Turks & Caicos Police: https://www.facebook.com/RTCIPF/
Sept. 11: HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE, 2:24 PM EDT
In this Hurricane Irma update, Ramon Andrews, director of tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands announces that the airport in Providenciales is open, telecommunications services are returning and electricity is returning to essential services and relief supplies are coming in.
To listen, click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2xrJodV
Sept 11: HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE #3: RESUMPTION OF FLIGHT OPERATIONS
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, Monday, September 11th, 2017– The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) announces the resumption of flight operations at Providenciales as at 11am today, local time, following the passage of Hurricane IRMA.
The Airports Authority remains committed to the safety of aircraft, passengers, staff and other users of the airport. We regret any inconvenience caused due to the closure and passengers are asked to contact their respective airline for flight rescheduling.
Director of tourism Ramon Andrews presents an update on the impact on Hurricane Irma on the Turks and Caicos Islands. He is reporting some flooding, some structural damage, mainly roofs that have been blown off, downed trees, no loss of life, all visitors safe.
Listen to a voice clip at http://bit.ly/2wP96Wt
Sept 5: TURKS AND CAICOS VISITORS ADVISORY ON HURRICANE IRMA
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (September 5, 2017) –The Turks and Caicos Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) and The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has issued Alert #4 according to the latest release. A hurricane watch is now in effect for the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands. This includes the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Islands of Inagua, Acklins and Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Long Cay, Samana Cay and Ragged Island. A hurricane watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Southeast Bahamas within 48 hours.
Tourism officials are urging visitors to leave the Turks and Caicos if they have the means to do so safely. Visitors unable to leave or opting to remain within the destination are urged to stay inside during the storm and pay attention to the public advisories issued by the DDME.
It is important to note that the Turks and Caicos Islands is an archipelago with more than 40 islands and cays. All hotels, resorts and villas throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands have activated their hurricane programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents, as safety remains the highest priority.
In accordance with the shutdown protocol, tourism officials have begun urging visitors to make preparations to leave the Islands. Visitors will be given the final opportunity to leave the island(s) within 24 hours of expected impact of Hurricane Irma, pending flight and airport operations.
All visitors are asked to make preparations with their airlines and check officials at their hotels for further information.
All airports throughout the destination remain open today. Immigration services will remain in place at the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) to ensure that flights are allowed to travel to and from the islands until Wednesday, September 6th at 6:00 p.m. when all airports throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands are expected to close.
Cruise ships are currently in port at the Grand Turk Cruise Center but will depart later today as officials have redirected all cruise lines away from Irma and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The last scheduled ferry service between the islands will depart North Caicos at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 6th.
The Ministry of Tourism and the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board is maintaining contact with all of its stakeholders, offices, representatives and visitors throughout the archipelago as Hurricane Irma approaches.
The DDME has requested all essentials services to remain in place throughout the storm. In the event of an emergency, visitors are asked to follow management protocol at their respective resort or call 911.
For further updates on potential storm threats to the Turks and Caicos Islands and for safety tips, kindly visit the website of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) at: http://www.gov.tc/ddme. You may also follow DDME via Twitter @DDME.TC or Facebook:www.facebook.com/TCI.DDME. Travel professionals and consumers are also advised to access the following: The National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov and the Weather Channel at www.weather.com
Check these for updates from the USVI:
For Immediate Release
Source: United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Media Contacts: Keisha Nelson, Marketplace Excellence + 1 201 861-2056; [email protected]
Alani Henneman-Todman, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism + 1 340 642-9789; [email protected]
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS REPORTS DAMAGE FROM HURRICANE IRMA
UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS (September 8, 2017) – The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has advised that full assessment on the impact of Hurricane Irma is underway and while St. Croix is getting back to business, visitors are being encouraged not to visit the district of St. Thomas and St. John.
In a message to travel partners, Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty expressed thanks for the prayers and support the U.S. Virgin Islands has received following the Category 5 hurricane, the eye of which passed north of the Territory on Wednesday.
“The island of St. Croix did not receive the full brunt of the storm, and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix receives its first commercial flight (JetBlue Airways from San Juan) today,” the Commissioner advised.
She reported that communications are still limited, there is significant damage to infrastructure in St. Thomas and St. John, and the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas will not be open for commercial traffic before the next weather system passes the area this weekend.
The storm has resulted in four casualties to date on the island of St. Thomas. “We are deeply saddened that lives have been lost and extend our condolences to the families.”
“To ensure everyone’s safety, we are requesting the postponement of all scheduled visits to St. Thomas and St. John,” the Commissioner implored, advising that there is significant work ahead to help residents of the district.
The following updates have been shared by individual properties throughout the Territory:
The Buccaneer: Open for business. Facilities are in good shape, but there may be some limitation of services over the next few days.
Caneel Bay: Complete power outage at the resort.
Westin St. John Resort Villas: All associates, owners and guests are safe. The resort and the surrounding areas experienced some damage and overall impact is being assessed.
Bluebeard’s Castle Resort: Everyone who was onsite is safe. The property has sustained major damage, which is currently being assessed.
Point Pleasant Resort: Everyone at the resort is safe, but without power and cell phone service. The team is currently assessing damage, and will share new information when available.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort: All guests and staff are safe. There is no major structural damage to the buildings. The generator is still working.
Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: Sustained significant property damage. Guests and staff are safe and well. Hotel will close through December 31, 2017.
Windward Passage: Will close for six months.
“The Department of Tourism’s team members are doing our best to communicate with accommodation providers and tourism partners for a full assessment of properties,” the Commissioner advised.
For further information on the impact of Hurricane Irma, visit www.usviupdate.com.