Today we want to tell you why we believe that is so important to encourage caribbean travel to help the region this year. And probably to your surprise, we will not tell you that you have to go because the Caribbean is fantastic and a heavenly place, although it is.
Surely, you remember the news about Hurricane Irma, that tropical cyclone that hit much of the Caribbean in September last year, causing 144 deaths and millions of victims. A hurricane of category 5, with winds reached 295 km per hour.
The storm caused catastrophic damage in many parts of the Caribbean, almost all of them dependent on tourism. The most affected areas were Saint Martin, Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Anguilla, the Virgin Islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Because of this, our trips to the Caribbean this year have a double purpose. Besides that we want you to know the place, we want to collaborate, so that Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico recover as quickly as possible from the natural catastrophe caused by Hurricane Irma. We want to support Caribbean travel this year to go forward, and not only ours, but all possible ones; the ones you do on your own, those made by other agencies, all help is need for the economic recovery of these countries, which has been affected by the low arrival from tourist after the hurricanes and to date has not increased.
The hurricane caused floods in Havana and Varadero and affected the central areas of the island such as the provinces of Camagüey and Ciego de Avila. They took the worst part in terms of human losses; 10 people died on the hurricane. The Cayos of the North zone, such as Cayo Santa María, Cayo Coco and Cayo Guillermo took the worst part and had to close until end of November, but, fortunately, they are already rebuilt and functioning normally.
In the Dominican Republic they had to evacuate 20,000 people, including residents and tourists, and suffered heavy flooding on the north coast. Fortunately, there were no human victims to be regretted, but there was great damage to the infrastructure of the island and it is estimated that they will have to rebuild about 1,000 properties.
To Puerto Rico, the misfortune touched them twice, as is that in the same month they suffered two hurricanes, after the Irma, Hurricane Maria arrived. The second one through Puerto Rico extremely powerful and catastrophic, left more victims than the first one, and was the most intense hurricane of the season. The islands of Culebra and Vieques were the most affected, being practically destroyed. In addition, a large part of Puerto Rico was flooded due to the winds, torrential rains, and the destroyed electrical network. To this day, many families and businesses are still using electric generators to have electricity.
The tourism sector has an important place in the economy of these countries and numerous jobs depend on it. So now, more than ever, we encourage you to travel to the Caribbean, because the only way to help countries recover quickly from these environmental catastrophes is to help them recover their normal situation as receivers of tourism, and be able to rescue their economy.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization has declared the 2018 Year of Wellness and Rejuvenation in the Caribbean and they want to promote the recovery of the region under the slogan “the best way to help the Caribbean, is to travel to the Caribbean” with which we totally agree, do you want to help us too?