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Anguilla

Other destinations are also recovering, but there is still plenty to do – on Anguilla’s neighbour, the French-Dutch St Martin/St Maarten, the terminal at Princess Juliana International airport was severely damaged by Irma and the airport was forced to create a temporary tented structure to allow flights to resume a few weeks after the storm.


The rebuilding of the airport is ongoing and, while many long-haul flights have resumed to the island including Air France and KLM services, capacity will continue to be significantly below pre-Irma levels.


In January 2019, there will still be 30% fewer flights compared with January 2017.


St Maarten’s hotels were also badly affected by Irma, with only around 54% of its pre-hurricane rooms due to be back in service by January 2019.


Hotels in the BVIs also took a severe pounding from Irma and the destination’s tourism industry initially got back off the ground through charter yacht and sailing operators, which resumed services in November 2017. Cruise lines also started to make visits to the islands from December, with more lines resuming calls for winter 2018-19.


Mike Taylor, Lusso Caribbean product manager, added: “The British Virgin Islands and St Martin were the most heavily affected destinations we feature and, as such, are not opening as quickly as other hurricane-affected destinations. Sailing is already back in the BVIs and we are thrilled to be able to sell yacht charters for this beautiful part of the Caribbean.”


Several resorts have now reopened in the BVIs including Scrub Island Resort & Spa, Cooper Island Beach Club, Guana Island Resort, Oil Nut Bay and Anegada Beach Club with more than 700 rooms available. They will be joined by the long-awaited relaunch of Virgin Limited Edition’s Necker Island next month (October).


Cleary added: “The Virgin Islands have been working tirelessly to keep the destination on the front page. When the luxury hotels are ready to accept guests, we will be at the front of the queue.”

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