Saint Martin is making a comeback. While there is still work to be done, this unflappable island is ready to welcome visitors with new infrastructure, revamped resorts, and unmatched natural beauty. Saint Martin, the half-Dutch, half-French gem of the Leeward Islands, has been a popular vacation destination for Americans since the 1950s. Tragedy struck in September 2017, however, when the Category 5 Hurricane Irma raged over the island for a full eight hours. This was one of the worst-hit islands, and it’s estimated that more than 90 percent of the buildings were damaged; one-third were completely destroyed.
Most of the population is involved with tourism in some way, so residents, the European Union, and the World Bank knew it was crucial to put infrastructure back in place quickly to get evacuees out and supplies in. There have been people on the ground working tirelessly to get this beloved Caribbean destination back, slowly but surely, on its feet.
At this point, despite the largely completed work on infrastructure, only about half of the island’s pre-storm hotel capacity has been restored.