Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a category 5 storm Sunday afternoon in the Bahamas, a country where tourism directly contributed $1.7 billion to its gross domestic product in 2017.
That was nearly 20% of the country’s total GDP, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. In 2018, the Bahamas received more visitors than in any previous year, Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio D’Aguilar said in March.
What’s more, hotel occupancy in the first half of 2019 was up about 20% from a year earlier, according to hotel data firm STR. Revenue per available room was up 27%.
Two of the Bahama’s major islands — Great Abaco and Grand Bahama Island — took prolonged, direct hits by the storm’s eyewall, causing “extreme destruction,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
“These hazards will continue over Grand Bahama Island during most of the day, causing extreme destruction on the island,” the center wrote, predicting storm surge of 18 to 20 feet above typical tide levels, and the destruction of some key infrastructure.
While there is no official word on how much money the damage has cost, here’s a look at some of the Bahamas’ most valuable attractions, as well as the capital tied to them:
Elbow Cay: One of Elbow Cay’s top destinations is the Hope Town Harbour Lodge, owned by Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest lodging companies with more than 6,400 hotels franchised in more than 35 countries and territories.
A weeklong at the Elbow Cay typically starts at more than $1,600 for two adults.
March Harbour: A top attraction here is the Abaco Club on Winding Bay, which saw a whopping $30 investment from Massachusetts-based resort developer Southworth Development in January.
The destination offers the usual top-notch amenities that come along with private golf clubs for members, plus the ability to buy property. Among the club’s current offerings: Aba’s Cove, an $8.75 million home with six bedrooms and six bathrooms; the Walking Stick, a $5.5 million estate with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half bathrooms; and the Hummingbird, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom cottage worth a whopping $2.5 million.
Free Port: In Free Port, you’ll find the Grand Lucayan Resort, currently being sold to cruise giant Royal Caribbean International and Mexico’s ITM. The sale came less than a year after the Bahamas’ government itself purchased the Grand Lucayan in a deal worth $65 million.