Anguilla reopens for tourism one month post-Irma

Anguilla reopens for tourism one month post-Irma

Hurricane-battered Anguilla has been officially re-opened for business and ready to welcome UK travellers, according to the island’s tourism board.

Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage with 185mph category 5 winds a month ago.

“The island has made a remarkable and robust recovery, although there is still a long way to go,” the island’s tourist board said.

An estimated 30 small hotels, condominiums, guesthouses and private villas have re-opened or plan to open ahead of the peak winter and Christmas season.

Properties currently open or preparing to open in November and December include Ce Blue, Frangipani Beach Resort, Meads Bay Beach Villas, West End Bay Holiday Suites and La Vue.

A number of the larger and five-star properties plan to re-open from mid-2018, including the newly acquired Belmond Cap Juluca on the Island’s West End, the Anguilla Tourist Board said.

Properties that sustained less damage, such as Carimar Beach Club on Meads Bay and Shoal Bay Beach Villas, assisted post Irma, providing shelter and aid to locals, relief workers and the British military.

The ATB has published a full list of island accommodation and restaurants with expected opening dates as a guide for visitors, tour operators and travel agents on its Facebook page.

Commercial flights have resumed with Trans Anguilla Airlines and Anguilla Air Services both providing charter services to St Kitts, served by British Airways from the UK, and Antigua which is served by BA and Virgin Atlantic.

Anguilla Air Services has also resumed a daily scheduled service to St Maarten, served from the UK by KLM and Air France via Amsterdam and Paris.

Tourism businesses including a number of restaurants and car hire services, have reopened.

Supermarkets are open and well provisioned, ready for those on self-catering and villa holidays.

Many of the Island’s beaches have been cleared as have island roads.

Phone and internet access have been restored to most parts of the island and “significant progress” is being made on the complete restoration of the electricity grid.

Water is available but remains on ration.

UK, Ireland and Scandinavia director of the Anguilla Tourism Board, Carolyn Brown, said: “The people of Anguilla, with the support of the UK government, have been quick to respond to the damage caused by Irma.

“It is a testament to the strength and resilience of this small Island community that they are now in a position of recovery just one month on, with tourism being at the forefront of that rebound.”

She added: “The message from the island is that Anguilla is safe, strong and ready to receive visitors over the coming months.”

The board last week announced the approval of plans to extend the runway at Clayton J. Lloyd International airport so that it can receive larger aircraft, including the Boeing 737s.

Plans for the reconstruction of Blowing Point Ferry Terminal have been approved and work has commenced. Blowing Point provides a link between Anguilla and neighbouring St Maarten.

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