“Trying to reason with hurricane season” is a song written and sung by Jimmy Buffett. It’s lyrics of “squalls out on the Gulf Stream, big storm coming soon” certainly have rung true for several Caribbean islands as well as the US Mainland this hurricane season. Several of the agents at Slaydon’s Travel as well as our colleagues throughout the industry have been scrambling to rearrange travel plans for those affected.
It may be hard to believe when you’re watching the news, but nearly 70% of the islands in the Caribbean were not at all impacted by the massive and destructive hurricanes in the recent weeks. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly 70% of the islands in the Caribbean received no storm damage at all.
While we have had a few clients who’s cruises have announced a port change, the good news is that Slaydon’s Travel did not have any clients vacationing in the islands at the time of impact for any of the storms so far.
Of course, there is still uncertainty about when some of the islands will again be ready for visitors. However, those clients who choose to vacation by cruise to the Caribbean will still enjoy a fantastic itinerary, it just may not be to the islands they originally expected. That’s the beauty of traveling by ship, the cruise lines can alter the itinerary to visit a different port, but the clients still get a vacation. The same cannot yet be certain for those who were planning to spend a week or more this fall on the islands that were the most impacted by the storm.
I’ve been asked by several clients in the past few weeks how they can help the islands that were the hardest hit. Ultimately, the best way to help them is to visit them, when they are ready. Go, spend your money in the local restaurants, take a tour of the island with a local, buy art from a local artist, the best way to help get these islands back on their feet is to support their lively hood, which is the tourism industry.
Granted, it’s going to be weeks or in some cases months before all of these islands are ready for visitors, but when they are your travel dollars will have the greatest impact. So go, but I urge you, don’t sit on the resort, get out and meet the people, support their businesses and establishments rather than the mulitmillion dollar international corporations that own the resorts.
Looking for other ways to help? Give us a call, there are organizations that we work closely with, through our Vacation For Good program that we can direct you towards.
These islanders are resilient, they will be back and open for business before we know it. When you’re ready to support them through a visit, click here and we’ll get started.
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