Categorized | National News

Baha Mar must rethink Hurricane readiness, says Minister

While many hotels in New Providence gave guests and employees the option to weather  Hurricane Irma  on property, multi-billion-dollar mega resort Baha Mar  made it mandatory for their guests to evacuate.   Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar  says  the resort did so for safety reasons.

Since the decision was made by the resort, many have ridiculed the decision by  suggesting that the resort closed because it was not built to withstand a hurricane.

The Tourism minister however  told reporters though the closure was  an unfortunate move, it was done with reason.

“They didn’t really consider getting people from the hotel to the convention center without going outside. So the only way to get from the hotel to the convention center  is to go outside and that is dangerous in a storm and that creates liability issues for them,” he said.

“They need to address that issue moving forward. You’re in a hurricane belt and you’re going to need to move people from your hotel to your convention center and during a hurricane you can’t possibly think of putting them into a shelter, that’s just not going to work;  so I think they need to think through that,” said the minister.

Mr. D’Aguilar said this time around they were at low occupancy,  so it may not have been a big issue.

“Blissfully they were at a very low occupancy and blissfully we didn’t get hit,” he said.

“Not necessarily a PR victory for them,  but I think they are now going to focus on this issue and address it.”

The Bahama Journal reached out to Baha Mar’s Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations, Robert Sands who did not say much on the matter.

Baha Mar’s Senior Vice President Robert Sands told The Journal ,“we have stated that of paramount importance is the safety and security of all guests and associates full stop.

“That’s simply all it was,” he said.

The resort’s President Graeme Davis assured that it is working with the government and local aid organizations to provide financial and other assistance to support those communities in need.

Baha Mar resumed full operations this past Tuesday.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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