GB: 59% Of Room Inventory Off-Line

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The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has followed through on a promise to help with Hurricane Matthew restoration on Grand Bahama, where 59 per cent of the island's total room inventory remains off-line.

The BHTA, during the Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board's (GBITB) June 8 directors' meeting, made a financial donation to help restore hard-hit tourism areas.

The donation was made by Suzanne Pattusch, the BHTA's executive vice-president, made the donation on both its behalf and that of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

The CHTA, in a February 25 statement, said: "Recognising the considerable hardship and damage which Haiti and part of the northern Bahamas faced in the aftermath of the hurricane, CHTA president, Karolin Troubetzkoy, called upon fellow hoteliers in the region to respond to the association's call for support."

The statement added that "CHTA developed a fundraising initiative through online auction channel, CharityBuzz.com, with which CHTA previously collaborated on a relief and recovery project for Dominica. Regional hoteliers donated room nights for the auction to benefit residents in Haiti and the Bahamas, some of whom continue to struggle to put their lives back in order".

Ellison 'Tommy' Thompson, the GBITB's chairman, said that "in consultation with the BHTA, we have identified areas in which the funds will be used".

He added: "The funds will be used towards addressing long-term improvements to those related areas affected in the tourism industry."

Grand Bahama was one of the islands hardest-hit by Hurricane Matthew. Only 41 per cent of the total hotel room inventory is open for business, as Memories Grand Bahama and Grand Lucayan's Breakers Cay - which together represent most of the capacity - remain closed.

The Grand Bahama Island Tourism Board, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, continues to promote the island, with focused attention on the current available rooms and attractions. Specific focus is being placed on the ecotourism sector, together with boating and fishing, as well as the festivals and events hosted by the Ministry of Tourism.

The Tribune
Published: June 20, 2017