Press Release:-Sandals Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Adam Stewart has urged persons planning to visit the Caribbean to stick to their travel plans, which he says is the best way to help recovery efforts following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
In an interview with CNN Money on Thursday, the Sandals CEO told CNN’s Maggie Lake that 75% of the Caribbean remains intact, and as restoration efforts take place in the islands that were affected, the best way to help is to keep travelling.
“The Caribbean has over two and a half million employees directly related to travel and tourism, in some countries its 80% of their GDP. So the best thing you can do for the Caribbean is to just keep travelling. Outside of the islands that were directly impacted, the rest of the Caribbean is in great shape; Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, the Southern Caribbean, many of those islands were not affected at all, so the best things travelers can do is stick to your plans, come to the Caribbean and let those economic dollars get put to work.”
With respect to relief efforts in the islands that were most affected, such as Barbuda and Turks and Caicos, Mr. Stewart says the Sandals Foundation has been on the ground and working alongside great organisations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army to help deliver supplies and support rebuilding efforts for both team members and the various communities.
“For us we have the strength, we have the might and we have the development team that will get the resort up and running in no time. The big deal is the community, the big deal is the people around us, they are the people that power our hotels, the team members … those individuals don’t have the resources as much and our job is to weigh in and use the power of our organisation to help rebuild those countries, in particular the schools that have been damaged.”
The Sandals CEO revealed that already the company has personally conducted six flights providing first response relief of food to those housed in shelters in Turks & Caicos as well as the Bahamas, and to deliver emergency supplies. Meantime Sandals Chairman the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has personally donated $150,000 to the Foundation to assist children affected in Barbuda.
The Sandals Foundation continues to work with stakeholders to drum up support and to inspire the hope needed to drive restoration work, while simultaneously promoting its international online fundraising drive through its website (sandalsfoundation.org) to collect donations for ongoing disaster relief work in Turks & Caicos, Antigua & Barbuda and the Bahamas.
The Beaches Turks and Caicos resort is due to reopen on December 14th, with the Sandals Grande Antigua due to reopen just days later on December 17th.