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TTC Special: Hurricanes, number one Caribbean tourism enemy.


Matthew was the strongest storm in the Caribbean nations since 2007. Photo: Cubadebate

By F. Martin

TTC Service. – The catastrophic impact of Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean prove that these kind of terrible storms are still the tourism “enemy number one” in the region.

And the worst thing is that climate change makes them more intense and erratic.

In Haiti and Jamaica the recent Matthew hurricane urged residents in vulnerable coastal areas to evacuate and in Cuba the authorities suspended flights , evacuates 1. 300.000 residents in several eastern cities, and was conducted an expensive operation in order to save lives and goals of the national economy. In all Caribbean countries hit by Matthew tourists were protected, but the infrastructure of the industry was greatly affected.

Matthew was the strongest storm in the Caribbean nations since 2007. In Haiti 1,300 shelters were set up, with the capacity to hold 340,000 people but some two thousand people refused to leave their seaside homes in the coastal town of La Savanne.

In Kingston, Jamaica, major roads and waterways flooded as the first bands from Matthew lashed the island. Cars stalled as rain-drenched drivers tried to push vehicles through streets that flooded within minutes after the downpour started.

According to regional experts, hurricanes cause very high threats to the tourism in the Caribbean because many of the resorts offer outdoor activities for the tourist such as canoeing, bird watching, nature walks etc. With all these hurricanes, fasts winds and heavy rains it puts a stop to all the tourist activities.

Tourism is counts for 13% of the Caribbean’s gross domestic product and it is an important economic driver for them. According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization CTO   the regional countries have only 1 percent of the world’s population but attract 3 percent of global tourism arrivals and expenditure.

But the big bad news is that hurricanes in the Caribbean worsen. The cause is the climate change.  Scientists explain that increases in global temperatures will manifest itself with extremes in increases of tropical cyclones like Matthew, droughts and floods, making tourism destinations more vulnerable to natural disasters.