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Published on : Monday, September 11, 2017
Hurricane Irma’s deadly destructions through the Caribbean will significantly affect the region’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry for months, just as hotels, airlines and cruises were preparing for the region’s upcoming peak winter season.
As one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, Irma has killed 21 people, leaving hotels, airports and other buildings damaged or flattened across prime vacation islands such as St. Martin and Barbuda.
It might take more than a year before the local tourism industry begins to return to normal, costing it billions in business loss. The Caribbean is the second-most favored destination for the US tourists, but the bookings have dropped since the hurricane hit the Caribbean shores. More than 26 million international tourists were expected to visit the Caribbean this year. The hurricane season is set to run for many more weeks.
The US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is urging visitors to stay away from St. Thomas, where four people died in the storm and where the airport remains closed to commercial traffic.
European tour operator TUI said it had evacuated its Florida customers to hotels in inland Orlando, and brought vacationers in Cuba to shelters. Recoveries in areas which are hot hard by the storm are not complete yet.
Tags: islands largely affected