CTO News

HURRICANE DORIAN AND THE ISLANDS OF THE BAHAMAS

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 – 1:00 PM EDT

NASSAU, Bahamas – September 3, 2019 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of the slow-moving Hurricane Dorian. The storm has been downgraded to a Category 3, but remains very dangerous.

While the eye of Hurricane Dorian is beginning to inch away from Grand Bahama Island toward the northwest, the southern eye wall of the storm continues to impact the island.

Hurricane conditions will continue in Grand Bahama Island through tonight, with strong feeder bands impacting The Abacos. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 110 miles per hour with higher gusts. An incredibly dangerous storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 10 to 15 feet above normal in parts of Grand Bahama Island. A hurricane warning remains in effect for Bimini and the Berry Islands.

The all clear has been issued for New Providence, which includes the capital of Nassau and neighboring Paradise Island, as well as Eleuthera and Andros. Residents and visitors on New Providence should continue to exercise caution as flooding conditions and power outages have been reported.

Islands in the Southeastern and Central Bahamas remain unaffected, including The Exumas, Cat Island, San Salvador, Rum Cay, Long Island, Acklins/Crooked Island, Ragged Island, Mayaguana and Inagua.

“Though Hurricane Dorian has weakened, it continues to cause destruction to Grand Bahama Island and has left a devastating impact on The Abacos,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow Bahamians and residents in these two northern islands, especially those who have lost loved ones. We are overwhelmed by the amount of inquiries about relief efforts, and encourage everyone to go to www.bahamas.com/relief for verified ways to help.”

The following is a status update on airports, hotels, airlines and cruise schedules at this time. This is not a comprehensive list and visitors are strongly advised to check directly with airlines, hotels and cruise lines regarding possible impacts to travel plans.

AIRPORTS

  • Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau remains open. There have been flight cancellations and travelers should contact their airlines directly for any schedule changes.
  • Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) is closed.
  • Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco is closed.

HOTELS

  • Hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island remain open.
  • Hotels in The Abacos and Grand Bahama Island assisted in evacuation procedures prior to Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.
  • Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.

FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS

  • Nassau ports are open and operating on their normal schedule, although cruise line schedules may be altered.
  • Bahamas Ferries have cancelled all sailings until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration remains closed and has cancelled September 3 and September 5 sailings.
  • Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour is closed.

Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence. The Ministry continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. To track Hurricane Dorian, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

For information on Bahamas Hurricane Dorian relief efforts, please visit www.bahamas.com/relief.

Media Queries:

Anita Johnson-Patty, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

[email protected]

 

Weber Shandwick, Public Relations for The Bahamas

[email protected]

 

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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Statia Sustainability Conference to Focus on Culture, Festivals, and the Economy

ORANJESTAD – St. Eustatius – The St. Eustatius Tourism Development Foundation (STDF) has confirmed a number of industry experts among the list of speakers for this year’s Eight annual Statia Sustainability Conference (SSC) themed “Culture, Festivals, the Economy – A Sustainable Way Forward.” Presenters Allen Cooper, Anthony Reid, and Gerjanne Voortman will inform and educate delegates of ways you can ensure that events are sustainable under a general session dubbed “A Step Beyond Sustainability – Fashioning a Regenerative Festival Model for the Caribbean.” The conference will be held at the Mike van Putten Youth Centre on world tourism day, Friday, September 27.

Cooper has substantial experience in innovation and entrepreneurship for a “green economy”. A Trinidad native, Cooper has worked in more than 16 countries. He is a member of the Caribbean Action Learning Group for the Green Economy, and board member of Future Fishers and the Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival Association.  In 2018, he was selected as part of a thinking group responsible for greening aspects of CARIFESTA 2019, and, also last year, he established his own cultural enterprise which focuses on small high-quality cultural events that highlight social and environmental responsibility.

Also listed on the roster of speakers is Anthony Reid. He has worked in several fields, both in the public and private sector. Between 2009-2010, Reid worked by National Women’s Movement as an agricultural consultant for the fair Economic Development Program teaching new farming technique to Marrons of the hinterland of Suriname. Between 2011 and 2013, as program manager, Reid guided local organizations into economic development prospects under the umbrella of Foundation Federation Heepi U See. In 2015, Reid migrated to Statia where he served as unit manager at the Agriculture Department before taking up the responsibility as Interim Director of Economy and Infrastructure in 2017.

Gerjanne Voortman has specialized in the impact of tourism and international volunteering. She works as an independent consultant in the fields of communication, society, and sustainability. She has conducted ethnographic research, mainly in Central America, studying small-scale communities from a local and global perspective. Both her scientific work and her ample personal travel experience led to her interest in the possibilities for tourism to grow more sustainable or to even contribute to destinations.

For Green Destinations, a non-profit foundation for sustainable tourism, she audits destinations in the Caribbean region to examine ways they can make their destinations more sustainable and more pleasant for visitors and inhabitants alike.  During her presentation at the Sustainability Conference, Voortman will focus on practical do’s and don’ts and explore with delegates the possibilities for celebrating events and festivals in a more sustainable way.

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, Destination News

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CTO Statement on the Passage of Hurricane Dorian

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, 3 Sept. 2019- The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) expresses our deepest regret and sadness over the loss of life and damage done to the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island by dangerous category 5 hurricane Dorian.

In the wake of this monstrous storm, we have witnessed the pain of those who lost loved ones, the agony of so many who lost their homes and all their belongings, and the angst of an entire Caribbean concerned for the welfare of the people of these islands.

However, as has been demonstrated so many times in the past, we have weathered many storms, we are a resilient people who refuse to surrender even in the most difficult of times, and we are confident that the people of the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama, with the full support of the Islands of the Bahamas and the Caribbean tourism family, will navigate the road to recovery together and emerge stronger.

With the Bahamas being an archipelago with more than 700 islands and cays spread over 100,000 square miles, the greatest impact of Hurricane Dorian is being felt in the northernmost islands of the Abacos and Grand Bahama, while most of the nation has been mostly unaffected.

The CTO offers our full support to the Bahamas. We have activated our Hurricane Relief Fund which has been established to help our people and countries rebuild after disasters. Please visit https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto to donate to the fund. We appreciate your contribution and encourage you to be generous.

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CTO Honours Eight Tourism Entities with Sustainable Tourism Awards at #STC2019

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (30 Aug. 2019) -The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has recognised eight tourism entities from CTO-member countries with its top awards for embracing sustainable tourism principles. The awards were presented on 29 Aug. during CTO’s Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Following a rigorous judging process by an esteemed panel of judges, across various tourism development and related disciplines, the winners for the eight awards were selected out of 38 entries and are as follows:

  • Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award recognises a product or initiative that contributes to a better quality of life in the destination and provides a unique visitor experience. Winner: True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada.
  • Destination Stewardship Award honours a CTO-member destination that is making solid strides towards sustainable tourism management at the destination level. Winner: Guyana Tourism Authority.
  • Nature Conservation Award commends any group, organisation, tourism business or attraction working towards the protection of natural and/or marine resources. Winner: Kido Foundation in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Culture and Heritage Protection Award honours a tourism organisation or initiative making a significant contribution to protect and promote heritage. Winner: Maroon and Stringband Music Festival Committee in Carriacou, Grenada.
  • Sustainable Accommodation Award recognises small or medium-sized (less than 400 rooms) tourist accommodation facilities. Winner: Karanmabu Lodge, Guyana
  • Agro-Tourism Award recognises a business that offers an agro-tourism product incorporating elements of food/agriculture production, culinary output and visitor experience. Winner: Copal Tree Lodge, Belize
  • Community Benefit Award honours an entity that manages tourism well for the long-term benefit of the destination, local people and visitors. Winner: Jus’ Sail, Saint Lucia
  • Tourism Social Enterprise, a special award recognising an initiative by an individual or group/association which addresses social problems by applying innovative tourism development ideas. Winner: Richmond Vale Academy, St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Sponsors of the Caribbean Sustainable Tourism Awards include: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Barbados; International Institute of Tourism Studies, the George Washington University; Massy Stores, St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Mustique Company Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; National Properties Ltd., St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission.

“The CTO is pleased to recognise and promote the pioneering sustainability initiatives being implemented in its member countries. The region’s public and private tourism industry stakeholders continue to exhibit a high level of interest and commitment to sustainable tourism development, making the region a world leader in responsible travel and tourism,” said Amanda Charles, CTO’s sustainable tourism specialist.

The Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference (#STC2019), was organised by CTO in partnership with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) and was held 26-29 Aug. 2019 at the Beachcombers Hotel in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines hosted #STC2019 amidst an intensified national thrust towards a greener, more climate-resilient destination, including the construction of a geothermal plant on St. Vincent to complement the country’s hydro and solar energy capacity and the restoration of the Ashton Lagoon in Union Island.

 

Posted in: 2019 News, Blog, STC

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St. Kitts Undamaged by Tropical Storm Dorian

Basseterre, St. Kitts (August 29, 2019) – St. Kitts is pleased to report that it was fortunate to sustain no damage from the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian to its south on Tuesday morning.

All hotels in St. Kitts are open, fully operational and servicing guests, who, along with local residents, have all remained safe and are returning to normal activities. St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) remained open and continues to welcome flights.  The Port Zante cruise pier and all sea ports remained open and continue to welcome vessels.  All infrastructure including roads, water mains and power lines are undamaged and functioning normally.

We extend our thoughts and prayers to our Caribbean brothers and sisters in those islands that may yet lie in the path of the storm.  Our sincere thanks to those who have sent thoughts and prayers to St. Kitts.

For the most recent updates on Tropical Storm Dorian, please refer to the National Hurricane Center. For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

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Hurricane Dorian and the Islands of The Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation (BMOTA) continues to track the progress of Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, August 30 and remain dangerous through the weekend.

On this track, Hurricane Dorian should move over the Atlantic well to the Southeast and Central Bahamas today, Thursday, August 29 and Friday, August 30 and approach the Northwest Bahamas on Saturday, August 31, moving near or over portions of the aforementioned area on Sunday, September 1.

As of Thursday afternoon, a hurricane alert remains in effect for the Northwest Bahamas, including Nassau and New Providence, Eleuthera, Abaco, Grand Bahama, North Andros, Bimini and The Berry Islands – signaling that hurricane conditions are expected in these islands within 60 hours.

Hotels, resorts and tourism businesses throughout the Northwest Bahamas have activated their hurricane response programs and are taking all necessary precautions to protect visitors and residents. Visitors are strongly advised to check directly with airlines, hotels and cruise lines regarding possible impacts on travel plans.

“The safety of our residents and visitors in The Bahamas remains the highest priority for us,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “We are liaising with our partners throughout the destination to gather updates and ensure preparedness for Hurricane Dorian, including the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Nassau Airport Development Company (NAD), the Port Authority and other relevant authorities.”

Residents and visitors may begin to experience effects of the storm, including maximum sustained winds near 85 miles per hour with higher gusts. Strengthening is forecasted during the next few days. Rainfall, flash floods and sea swells are also expected.

Small craft operators in the Northwest Bahamas should begin to seek safe harbor for their vessels and make sure they are properly secured. Mariners in the Central and Southeast Bahamas should exercise caution for moderate to large swells on Friday and Saturday.

Below is information on information on the status of airports, hotels, airline and cruise schedules at this time.

AIRPORTS

  • Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau is open and operating at its normal schedule. Nassau LPIA representatives are continuing to monitor reports from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Bahamas Department of Meteorology regarding the projected path of Hurricane Dorian, and are collaborating with airline partners to understand their own flight plans in view of projected impacts of the storm in key source markets.
  • Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, August 30. The airport will not reopen until 6 a.m., Tuesday, September 3. This is subject to prevailing conditions.
    • Bahamasair will operate its last FPO/FLL flight at 9:10 a.m. on Friday, August 30 and its last FPO/NAS flight at 8:15 p.m. ,Friday, August 30.
    • American Airlines will depart FPO at 12:13 p.m., Friday, August 30.
    • Silver Airways will confirm a time for two post-cleared flights Friday, August 30.
    • Flamingo Air flights on Friday, August 30 may be impacted; travelers should contact the airline directly.
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) will close at 12:00 p.m. , Friday, August 30 until further notice.

HOTELS

The following contains information on hotel status at this time, but this is not a comprehensive listing.

Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.

  • Grand Bahama Island hotels and timeshares have strongly advised guests to leave in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival.

FERRY, CRUISE AND PORTS

  • Bahamas Ferries have canceled all weekend operations and sailings beginning Friday, August 30 until further notice. Passengers seeking further information should call 242-323-2166.
  • Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration will sail at 2 p.m. on Friday, August 30, and will accommodate any passengers who booked a sailing on Saturday, August 31 or Sunday, September 1. All passengers should be on board by 1 p.m. Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration will resume operations immediately following passage of Hurricane Dorian.
  • Balearia Caribbean will sail at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 30. All passengers should be on board by 11a.m.
  • Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbour will close 2 p.m. on Friday, August 30.
  • Nassau ports are open and operating at its normal schedule.

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 parts of the country while other parts remain unaffected.

Each Bahamas Tourist Office (BTO) throughout the islands is equipped with a satellite phone to keep in touch with the command center in New Providence. The Ministry continues to monitor Tropical Storm Dorian and will provide updates at www.bahamas.com/storms. For further information, visit www.nhc.noaa.gov.

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