Report from Green Globe Caribbean Partner, Wendy Walker-Drakes
As we look back at the impacts of the mammoth Hurricane Irma that descended on the Caribbean and USA Eastern Seaboard we are certainly reminded that this region has resilience at its core.
The words of the late great reggae artist Peter Tosh ring true “ I got to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again”.
Our hearts and thoughts are with our Caribbean neighbours in the north who have recently been through the wrath of this category 5 hurricane. We recognize that while some islands suffered minimal damage there were those that were severely ravaged – Barbuda (95% damaged) ; St Maarten (70% damaged), Anguilla, The British Virgin Islands and the USVI – St Thomas and St John.
We make special mention of Galley Bay in Antigua and Myetts Garden Inn in Tortola, both members of the Green Globe Community who suffered some measure of damage. The photos for this article are from Galley Bay’s Christine Young, who we thank for sending through at a difficult time. We look forward to our members recovery as with other stalwarts in the industry including Richard Doumeng of Bolongo Bay in St Thomas and properties in St Maarten.
It is well known that the lifeblood of the Caribbean is tourism and in the face of weather systems such as Hurricane Irma, there are challenges both physical and to visitor perception. The resilience of our tourism industry is demonstrated by the tenacity of the hotel owners who will, pick themselves up, dry themselves off and continue to offer to visitors some of the best experiences this earth has to offer. We look forward to the support of all in helping in the recovery effort.
Please note that the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has been very busy bringing together support for the region. For those wanting to help we recommend the CHTA endorsed Tourism Cares site, where donations can be made. And for more information regarding the impact of the storm and updates from the affected destinations visit the CHTA Hurricane Information Hub and follow the hashtag #CHTARelief on all social media.