Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) created a “One Caribbean” branding strategy. Its purpose was to assist the islands that were affected by the storm by pledging a portion of profits from the “open” islands—but it also served to show that the destination sticks together when facing adversity. Following Hurricane Dorian, which destroyed much of Grand Bahama and the Abaco islands, many resorts throughout the Caribbean are upholding this message and are coming to the islands’ aid.
Here’s a snapshot of what other Caribbean properties are doing to assist:
The St. Lucian luxury resort Jade Mountain has partnered with the CHTA Education Foundation to raise funds for school children in impacted areas, particularly Abaco and Grand Bahama.
The resort and foundation are encouraging donations by offering donors a chance to win a seven-night stay in a Jade Mountain Sun Infinity Pool Sanctuary with breakfast and dinner for two guests. The prize is valued at approximately $24,000.
Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of Jade Mountain, announced that for every $50 supporters donate, they will be eligible to enter the raffle for a chance to win the seven-night stay at Jade Mountain. To enter to win, consumers can visit one.bidpal.net/dorianjademt. All donations are tax deductible with 100 percent of proceeds going towards relief efforts for the school children of Abaco and Grand Bahama.
Baha Mar is providing travelers with the chance to support and connect directly with those affected through a new initiative, Pack with Love.
Pack with Love encourages those visiting Baha Mar’s properties to pack an item or two to be shared directly with victims of Hurricane Dorian. Articles can include clothing, shoes, baby items, books and educational supplies, stuffed animals and small toys. Comfort items of this nature can have a significant impact on the emotional state and instill a sense of calm and security for those affected by the storm. Guests will have the opportunity to deliver their donations personally to shelters in Nassau, housing Bahamians from Grand Bahama and the Abacos.
In addition to Pack with Love, guests, friends and members of our community may support its relief efforts at bahamar.com/dorian, where 100 percent of proceeds go directly to those affected.
To date, Baha Mar has donated $2 million in support of immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery for the islands.
Atlantis Paradise Island
Atlantis, Paradise Island and Brookfield Asset Management announced last week a $3 million pledge to benefit Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. The pledge is in addition to the grassroots efforts that started prior to and immediately after the storm and will benefit a combination of funds and organizations who are on the ground providing aid and assistance to the Bahamian people.
Efforts to provide aid and relief started prior to the storm with Atlantis’ partnership with chef José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen team, staging and assembling much needed meals in Atlantis’ kitchens. Meals continue to be delivered to Abaco and Grand Bahama and volunteers from Atlantis’ staff continue to assist in assembly and delivery. These efforts will continue as long as they are needed.
Atlantis announced as these additional fundraising and relief initiatives:
- Donation sites at Brookfield Place in New York and Atlantis’ offices in Plantation, FL have been set up to collect much needed supplies which will be delivered to relief organizations.
- Atlantis has coordinated the shipment of medical supplies donated by Baptist Health.
- Atlantis has established a GoFundMe site with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Bahamas Red Cross, with a goal of reaching $1 million
- Atlantis has established an employee assistance fund to aid in the relocation or renovation expenses for the families of Atlantis team members
For more information, visit www.atlantisbahamas.com.
Caerula Mar, a boutique resort that’s opening in November, is owned by Sarah and Bryan Baeumler of HGTV Canada fame. The celebrity couple has created a GoFundMe campaign where they’re matching donations — they’ve so far raised more than $145,000. Funds will go to Red Cross among other non-profits. They’ve also partnered with Makers Air (small airline that flies to Andros from Fort Lauderdale) to take supplies, medicine etc. directly to Freeport.
Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has launched a comprehensive relief program in support of The Bahamas. The details of how you can contribute to this effort, and what is required, can be found at www.bahamas.com/relief.
Additionally, the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund is active and open to receive donations for The Bahamas; please see www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto.
With tourism supplying 50 percent of the Bahamas’ annual GDP, travelers are encouraged to continue visiting the unaffected islands. When a disaster hits, there is often a lack of consumer education around where is safe to travel, so travelers avoid the destination altogether; Reuters reported that the Caribbean lost more than $1 billion in tourism revenue following Irma and Maria.
In an effort to support the hurricane relief and encourage travel to the destination, CheapCaribbean has announced:
- It will be donating 100 percent of its profits from Bahamas bookings made next Tuesday, September 17
- Now through October 15, it's matching cash donations up to $50,000 (up to $1,000 per person)
- 100 percent of profits from the limited-edition “We Love You, Bahamas” t-shirts will be donated
All contributions will go directly to the National Association of The Bahamas, an organization supporting the immediate needs and relief efforts for those affected.