Though Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas in September, canceling your plans to visit the archipelago would be a mistake. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island are still recovering, but over a dozen islands are continuing to welcome tourists. In fact, according to the Bahamas' tourism ministry, traveling to the Bahamas is one of the most helpful things you can do right now, and there are a few ways you can make sure your dollars are directly impacting locals.
Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas earlier in September, slamming the archipelago with 185 mph winds — but not every island was so heavily impacted. The Bahamas is made up of 700 islands spread over 100,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, and the nation relies heavily on tourism, with roughly half of Bahamians working in the industry, per the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. And with islands like Nassau, Paradise Island, and The Exumas virtually unaffected by the hurricane, the Bahamas can still benefit from visitors.
"Maintaining a robust tourism industry will be vital in helping the country to recover and rebuild," said tourism and aviation minister Dionisio D’Aguilar, Bahamas Minister of Tourism & Aviation, in a press release provided to Bustle. "We are grateful for the outpouring of support and love for our islands, and we would like everyone to know that the best thing they can do for us right now is visit Nassau, Paradise Island and the Out Islands. Our beautiful island nation is ready to welcome you." If you want to visit the islands in the coming months, here's how to do it responsibly.