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How to help the Bahamas recover: Go on vacation

Hurricane Dorian all but leveled the northern Bahamas — which is why they so badly need tourism dollars in the lower islands that managed to avoid devastation.

Roughly 60% of the nation’s gross domestic product comes from tourism, according to a 2019 Heritage Foundation report. And they’ll need a lot of vacation-driven dollars to recover from the Category 5 storm, which has left 70,000 homeless, destroyed 90% of buildings in the hardest hit areas and taken the lives of at least 50 of its citizens.

Only time will reveal the full scope of damage.

But the archipelago is comprised of 31 island districts stretching from just east of southern Florida to north of Haiti — and its southernmost islands were spared from the Category 5 storm, CNN reports. Airports, hotels and cruise terminals in those lower islands are still operating as usual.

Here’s what you need to know before booking your Bahamian vacation.


Grand Bahama International Airport (FPO) and Leonard Thompson International Airport (MHH) in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, are closed indefinitely. The following hubs are still operating:

Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in Nassau (their largest airport)
Exuma Airport (GGT)
South Bimini Airport (BIM)
North Eleuthera Airport (ELH)
Stella Maris Airport (SML) and Deadman’s Cay Airport (LGI) on Long Island

It is still possible to travel between islands via cruise or ferry through the following services and entry points:

Bahamas Ferries
Balearia Caribbean is operating, with the exception of their Freeport service, which is only open to Grand Bahama Island residents for now.
All Nassau ports are open.
The Port in Grand Bahama Island

Many of the country’s beloved tourist stops are still up and running:

Reaching 633-feet below sea level, Dean’s Blue Hole, the second deepest swimming hole on the planet, is open to divers and swimmers.
In the Exumas, the swine of “Pig Beach,” home to a small population of water-loving pigs, are still swimming with tourists.
The trail on Cat Island’s Mount Alvernia, leading up to the historic Hermitage, is accessible to hikers.
Bimini’s shipwreck of the SS Sapona, a popular spot for divers to catch glimpses of exotic tropical fish, is welcoming visitors. The ship ran aground during a hurricane in 1926 — and was later used as a bombing target by US fighter planes during World War II.

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A post shared by Canuck Palms Exuma Bahamas (@canuckpalms) on Aug 31, 2019 at 5:44am PDT