By and large The Bahamas tourism industry was sparred the full intensity of Hurricane Irene and clean-up efforts by hotels and attractions are well underway. Major resorts on Nassau, Paradise Island and Grand Bahama are fully operational with few exceptions.
Except for the easternmost islands, most damage is landscaping-related. There has been some minor roof damage. Preliminary reports from Long Island, Cat Island, Eleuthera and Abaco, which suffered the brunt of the storm, are just reaching us. Along with the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, we are assessing the extent of damages to hotels throughout the country and hope to have a good reading on that within several days.
We wish to commend the Government, in particular here in the capital, where crews from the Ministry of Environment, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, the Ministry of Works and others responded quickly and worked diligently around the clock to restore our infrastructure, along with those from The Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation and the Water and Sewage Corporation
We are also grateful to the Civil Aviation Department and the Nassau Airport Development Company for their coordination and quick response in helping to get our airport facilities back in operation as quickly as possible.
Finally, we applaud our tourism partners. The Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, which leads readiness and response efforts for the tourism industry; the airlines, many which moved quickly to provide additional airlift; and our member hotel managers and their dedicated staff, for stepping up to the plate to ensure our guests were accommodated as comfortably as possible and our properties were prepared.