Next update Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011
NASSAU, Bahamas – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Irene and liaising with NEMA, Bahamas Hotel Association, Nassau Airport Development Company and other authorities. The Department of Meteorology is tracking Hurricane Irene which is moving toward the southern Bahamas at this time. Hurricane Irene is expected to reach the destination by early Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Even though the hotels in The Bahamas are fully prepared to accommodate guests under these circumstances, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is strongly recommending that all visitors voluntarily evacuate the destination. Visitors are encouraged to contact their airlines directly to make arrangements for early departure or contact their hotel’s front desk or concierge for assistance and information. The Ministry is working with industry partners to request that change fees are waived and liaising with hotels and industry partners to extend all possible courtesies to those affected in accordance with the industry’s recommended hurricane cancellation policy.
Additionally, the Ministry is also recommending that visitors with plans to travel into the destination in the next five (5) days postpone their travel until a later date. The Bahamas Hotel Association hurricane cancellation policy is now in effect.
As the storm moves through the country, airports will be closed. Some in the southeastern Bahamas have already closed. The Nassau Airport Development Company indicates that the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) is continuing to operate with regular service and is working with airlines to accommodate extra flights at this time. The airport on Grand Bahama Island remains open at this time but is also expected to close as the storm progresses. Airfields will cease operation once sustained winds of 40 mph have been reached.
Major cruise ports in Nassau and Grand Bahama Island are expected to close tonight. Ships currently in Nassau will depart by midnight and calls are not expected to resume until Saturday, Aug. 29. Passengers with reservations should contact cruise lines directly with questions.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism is advising visitors and potential visitors to follow the progress of Hurricane Irene closely (www.nhc.noaa.gov).
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism will continue to monitor Hurricane Irene and will provide updates as the situation warrants.
*All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)