by Loren G. Edelstein | September 20, 2017
The Caribbean, still reeling from Hurricane Irma, is now enduring Hurricane Maria. The website Caribbean Travel Update was created by area tourism entities to provide the most recent information on all Caribbean destinations at one glance. 
 
Fund-raising efforts are well underway via the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund, created for "tourism industry stakeholders and friends of the region….to support the vulnerable and devastated areas of the Caribbean, acting in solidarity and as One Caribbean Family." 
 
Destinations labeled as "open for business" at the Caribbean Travel Update site either were not affected or were mostly up and running after storms Irma and Jose. A section designated for "affected islands" offers status updates on airport and infrastructure, as well as property-by-property reports of damage and recovery efforts from the previous storms.
 
Meanwhile, Hurricane Maria slammed the small island of Dominica yesterday and moved on to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. "At this time, we are observing Hurricane Maria and will update the site as new information comes in," read the latest update. "Please keep our islands in the path of Maria in your thoughts and prayers."
 
Islands that sustained damage due to Hurricane Irma include Anguilla, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. John, Sint Maarten/St. Martin and St. Thomas. 
 
Among destinations that did not suffer significant damage and are: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curacau, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
 
As of Wednesday, the following islands, among others, had posted recovery updates:
 
• Antigua
 
Antigua is open for business with excursions, tour operators, restaurants and hotels welcoming visitors. Close to 2,000 of the country's hotel room stock will be available by the end of October for the start of the peak winter season, following traditional summer upgrades and renovations throughout resorts. Some of these resorts include Cocobay, Jumby Bay, Curtain Bluff, Carlisle Bay, Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, Heritage Quay Hotel, St. James's Club, The Inn at English Harbor and Nonsuch Bay. 

• The Bahamas

Airports are open in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and on nearly all Out Islands; international flights have resumed, including service to some Florida airports; and ports have reopened allowing cruise ships to begin to return. The majority of hotels and resorts throughout The Islands of The Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to reopen on their regularly scheduled dates. Reservation holders are encouraged to contact their respective hotels for more information.

Nassau and Paradise Island hotels received no damage. While many remained open, others are resuming normal operation. Among those open for business: Atlantis, Paradise Island, Warwick Paradise Island-Bahamas, Baha Mar Resort and Casino, Breezes Resort & Spa, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, One & Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island, Melia Nassau Beach Resort, ResortsWorld Bimini (reopening Sept. 27), Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach.
 
• Cuba

Hurricane Irma passed over the northern portion of Cuba. Havana has experienced major flooding, power has been knocked and widespread wind damage has impacted the area. Visitors are advised to contact their respective hotels prior to arrival.
 
• Turks and Caicos

Providenciales International Airport has reopened for scheduled flights. Several hotels were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma; some properties have now elected to remain closed to assess any damage to their properties and are looking to reopen by mid-October. 

For further details and frequent updates, please consult Caribbean Travel Update