Hurricane Dorian may have decimated parts of the Bahamas and relief efforts remain ongoing, but much of the island nation is still welcoming tourists — and now you can do some good when you book your next vacation.
If you book a trip to the Bahamas on Tuesday, Sept. 17, using the booking site CheapCaribbean, 100 percent of the profits will be donated to the National Association of The Bahamas. On top of that, CheapCaribbean is matching donations up to $50,000 (or up to $1,000 per person) through Oct. 15, according to the site.
The website is also selling “We Love You, Bahamas” T-shirts, and will plan to donate all of the profits from those.
"With tourism accounting for half of the Bahamas' gross domestic product, the destination is highly dependent on inbound travel,” Michael Lowery, the president of CheapCaribbean, told Travel + Leisure in an email. “While donating is an important means for supporting a destination post-disaster, tourism can make a long-term impact."
Hurricane Dorian swept through the Bahamas as a category 5 storm, making landfall on Great Abaco Island with sustained winds of 185 mph, destroying it along with Grand Bahama.
But while that area is still reeling, a large number of islands — including some of the most visited like Nassau, Paradise Island, and the Exumas — remain untouched and ready to welcome visitors with open arms. For a nation that largely relies on tourism, visiting and simply enjoying the islands is one of the best things you can do to help its people recover.
Visiting is one of the best — and most fun — ways to help, but Bahamas hotels have also banded together to help those affected by the storm. The Baha Mar hotels on Nassau have encouraged visitors to pack an extra item for donation, like clothing, shoes or baby items, and the Atlantis organized a GoFundMe page with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Bahamas Red Cross.