NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday January 24, 2010 – Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis says his government is about to develop a broad-range of activities for a total experience for visitors to the archipelago, post-Hurricane Dorian.
He told the hundreds assembled for Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace this week, just months after the Category 5 Hurricane Dorian struck North Abaco and Cays and East Grand Bahama, that The Bahamas is still open for business. He said that although New Providence and Paradise Island account for more than 70 per cent of the country’s population and more than 70 per cent of its GDP, those two account for less than two per cent of land mass.
“This concentration of population and GDP is forcing us to reconsider ways to diversify our tourism economic centres, while we build greater resilience in and continue tourism growth on New Providence and Paradise Island,” Dr Minnis said.
The Prime Minister noted that Hurricane Dorian was “a watershed moment” for The Bahamas in the truest and most unfortunate sense of that phrase.
“The lessons of Hurricane Dorian have forced us to rethink a number of matters that we have often ignored or not more fully addressed,” he said. “Dorian has forced us to rethink our global responsibilities as a voice in combating climate change.”
He observed that while the Caribbean contributes little to the causes of climate change, the region is far more vulnerable than most countries of the world to the effects of climate change.
“Hurricane Dorian has forced us to rethink construction and resilience,” he noted. “We must find ways to build and where possible retrofit our homes, our buildings and our power and water infrastructure that are far more hurricane resilient to both wind and surging waters.”
The Prime Minster then shared that the good news is that The Bahamas is receiving scores of recommendations for review and consideration from both international and Bahamian experts and companies.
At the recent UNDP Donor Pledge Conference, the country was offered various types of assistance for rebuilding after Hurricane Dorian.
“Let me emphasize and repeat that an offer of a pledge of assistance is not the same as acceptance of an offer,” he said, adding that The Bahamas will review the best practices and make its decision based on that.