St Maarten/St Martin, Anguilla and St Barths have slow recovery after Irma
The cleanup continues on all islands with the assistance of both French and Dutch armies in St Maarten/St Martin and British on Anguilla. Hundreds of tons of building material arrived yesterday on board of military ships. Power and water supplies are getting better every day, on both sides.
Curfew is maintained from 9 pm to 6 am on both sides of the island.
Sonesta Maho, Ocean Point and Great Bay, as well as the Westin Dawn Beach were badly hurt and should not be able to reopen within a year.
Hoteliers on Dutch St Maarten were requested to attend a general meeting today, to meet the Government, assess damages and discuss all future steps to recovery.
On French Saint-Martin, most of the hotels were also damaged and should not be able to receive guests during the 2017-2018 winter season. Belmond La Samanna might reopen after May 2018. At this stage, it is not possible to be more precise because insurance experts are still evaluating on site.
On Anguilla, the Four Seasons might reopen after May 2018 but Cuisinart, Belmond Cap Juluca and others might need more time to recover. Again, damages are still being assessed on site and official statements will follow, from each and every hotelier.
Same uncertainty on St Barth, with very little information being given by hoteliers on the extent of their damages.
SXM airport is still closed to commercial flights and it is still unclear if operations can resume at the beginning of October. Air France and KLM are saying that the end of October is more likely but on AA’s website, it is possible to book flights out of SXM as early as October 10. However, no official communication has been made and we are still trying to get some feedback from the airport officials.
Marigot is damaged and Philipsburg might start operating as early as November 2017, with a reduced capacity. Cruise lines decided to cancel or operate in 2018 at the best, if the situation makes it possible.
Gustavia will be operational soon, but also at a reduced pace.
Marigot to St Barth is possible but the largest boat, Voyager, needs tourists in order to run a daily shuttle. 80% of its clients are visitors and there are no visitors to the islands.
Ferry to Anguilla has not yet resumed.
IMMEDIATE FUTURE :
Authorities on both sides of SXM, Anguilla and St Barth are monitoring the supplies of food and water to the population, as well as the reconstruction plans.
The cleaning of debris on the roads and in the neighborhoods has helped giving the islands a better aspects and this is important for those who want to go faster than expected in recovering and ensuring the return of visitors.
Obviously, the private sector is facing a bleak future with hundreds of companies having to dismiss their staff and sometimes file for bankruptcy because of the lack of business, especially for companies dealing with tourism.
The recovery timeline will depend on how fast reconstruction starts and how much money is injected by French, Dutch & British governments to support their overseas territories.