More economic fallout for Caribbean from Sandy
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday, November 1, 2012 – Already counting their economic losses from the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, some of the Caribbean’s major tourism destinations are now suffering collateral damage as over 7,200 flights have been reportedly cancelled from Washington, DC to New York due to the storm system.
The Caribbean is highly dependent on the Eastern United States for visitors but many have been halted as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region of the United States deals with several airline cancellations.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill admitted that the flight disruptions were a big blow to his tourism industry.
“The Northeast of the US is very important to our tourism sector as it accounts for nearly 75% of our source market from that country. However, though the United States is our main source market I am optimistic that the fallout from the impact of Sandy will not depress the demand for travel for too long,” he said.
Jamaica is already grappling with plans for economic recovery in Sandy’s aftermath and according to Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd, insurers are indicating that the losses in Jamaica are going to come to tens of millions of US dollars.
Airports along the worst affected areas have not been allowing flights to the various Caribbean islands, even the popular daily Bahamas flights from New York has been halted. This will be a further blow to The Bahamas as insured losses there are projected to exceed US$50 million, according to Caribbean Risk Managers.
Travellers coming from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region of the United States have been strongly advised to check with their airline to see if their flights have been affected by Hurricane Sandy cancellations.
However, the Caribbean can still expect traffic from South Florida, although it is predicted that South Florida flights to Caribbean islands may also be affected as many travellers would have come from the Northeast to South Florida and then travelled on to the islands.