By Christina Liao / ROBB Report / September 17, 2019
At the start of the month, tragedy struck the Bahamas when Category 5 Hurricane Dorian tore its way through the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island. Following what NASA reported as sustained winds of 185 mph, with gusts over 200 mph, the devastating storm has left catastrophic destruction in its wake, including a death toll that’s nearing 50 people and the displacement of over 70,000 individuals, according to CNN. Now, the country is in dire need of help—and the travel industry is heeding their call.
Many of the resorts on nearby islands have banded together in solidarity to show their support for their neighbors. Atlantis is playing a significant role, providing José Andrés and his World Central Kitchen team—who made an extraordinary impact in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico two years ago—with a space to assemble meals that are being delivered daily to Abaco and Grand Bahama. Atlantis, Paradise Island, and Brookfield Asset Management have also collectively pledged $3 million dollars toward relief efforts, in addition to setting up a GoFundMe page for donations, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Bahamas Red Cross.
Several others have also created donation pages, including Baha Mar (which has also given $2 million to support immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery, and is encouraging guests to bring items for those affected); Sandals Resorts International, which will match donations dollar for dollar; the soon-to-open Caerula Mar, whose owners’ charity will match campaign goal proceeds; and the Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort, which has also been sending staff over to the Atlantis to work with World Central Kitchen. A number of cruise lines have also been helping by sending relief to the Bahamas on their ships, and Royal Caribbean has gone the extra step by donating $1 million and matching up to $500,000 from funds raised by the Pan American Development Foundation.