CTO: Regional tropical cyclone protocols needed to protect tourism industry
The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) says regional destinations must have protocols to determine at what point they stop accepting visitors when a tropical cyclone is imminent.
Thousands of visitors to the region and intra-regional travellers were left stranded this past Hurricane Season after storms devastated a number of destinations.
Sustainable tourism product development consultant at CTO Kennedy Pemberton says even with a hurricane warning the tourism supply apparatus was still in full swing.
He notes that there were still airlines bringing passengers into the region even when it became clearer that storms were going to hit destinations within the region.
He says governments need to say at a certain point they will stop accepting visitors, because of the risk of an incident involving a visitor.
Pemberton says the potential fallout from the injury or death of a visitor to the region as a result of a storm is long-term.
He says it damages the brand and could continue to redound in the minds of visitors.
He says the CTO has learnt some important lessons as a result of the devastating 2017 Hurricane Season, including that the early warning information is particularly useful.