Want To Help? Bahamas Ministry Of Tourism Offers Best Suggestions
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
In the wake of the horrific destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian on Abaco and Grand Bahama Island, many travel agents and their clients want to know how they can help, and where their donations will have the greatest impact.
So Open Jaw reached out to Paul Strachan, Senior Director, Canada, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, for his advice.
Strachan sayswww.bahamas.com/reliefis the nation’s global hurricane relief website. It includes listings of charitable organizations approved by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), the Bahamas government's official disaster relief agency.
“We are directing all entities and inquiries with an interest in providing assistance to this site,” Strachan said.
“We certainly understand and appreciate that there are many legitimate trade (and other groups/organizations) raising funds etc; however this is the site; and by extension the charitable groups/modes of providing assistance we are promoting,” Strachan said. “Ultimately, people will give to or support entities they feel more comfortable with. We won't discourage, and welcome and appreciate all efforts.”
While the immediate needs of those impacted by the hurricane are critical, life goes on in the majority of the islands of The Bahamas that were not hit by the monster storm. Getting the message out that most Bahamian hotels and other tourism entities are undamaged and ready to welcome travellers is equally important as hurricane relief to the future success of the nation, Strachan says.
“Only two of our islands were impacted by the storm; namely Abaco and Grand Bahama Island (Freeport). Nassau/Paradise Island and the remainder of The Islands Of The Bahamas are fine, fully operational and open for business. You can help by delivering this message and booking your clients,” Strachan added.
The photo accompanying this story shows the 14 Bahamian islands that are ready, willing and able to welcome visitors. Strachan says travel advisors can help by sharing the image on social channels along with the hashtag #BahamasStrong.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.