Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: Sept. 23, 2004

HURRICANE DAMAGE AND CLEANUP continue to dominate Caribbean news, with relief efforts gaining momentum for the islands most impacted by Hurricane Ivan and Tropical Storm Jeanne. At midweek, the two latest storms [Karl and Lisa] did not pose any immediate threats to land, but Jeanne, although now far east of the Bahamas, seemed unpredictable and could wobble westward again.

HERES A PARTIAL RECAP throughout the region:

" Cayman Islands. George Town, Grand Cayman, is functioning again with some electricity running, several banks and gas stations open, grocery stores stocked and long lines at hardware stores. Water has been turned on for several hours each day in some parts of the island. Power and phone service remain out in many parts of Grand Cayman; and Cayman Airways is running relief flights only through Sept. 30. Ezzat Coutry, Ritz-Carltons senior vice president in charge of Caribbean, Florida and Mexico hotels, said the new Ritz-Carlton on Seven Mile Beach survived intact without a single window broken. We build our new hotels according to South Florida building codes established after Hurricane Andrew in 92. The Ritz, which had a Dec. 14 opening scheduled, has projected a new opening date of late in the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter of 2005, Coutry said. No reopening dates have been announced by other properties. Relief agencies and drop off points in New York and Florida for emergency supplies are listed at www.caymanislands.ky; also contributing to the relief effort is a group on Bonaire -- visit www.bonairetalk.com.

" Grenada. Brenda Hood, minister of tourism, reported that the water supply is 80% restored in the parish of St. Georges, 75% in the parish of St. Patrick, and between 25% and 30% in the parishes of St. John, St. David and St. Mark. St. Georges, the capital, has electricity and some phone service, although there is no phone service elsewhere on the island. Major roads have been cleared and are open to traffic; some banks and some shops are open. Cruise lines have been diverted to other destinations. A dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in effect for security purposes. Point Salines Airport is open for regional and international flights between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. BWIA offers flights from New York and Miami via its Trinidad hub; Air Jamaica resumed all flights via its Montego Bay, Jamaica, hub and some service from New York (Kennedy); LIAT has four daily flights into Grenada. On the hotel front, Bel Air Plantation will reopen by early November; Calabash Hotel remains closed until Oct. 30 for its previously scheduled pool suites remodeling; Flamboyant Hotel will reopen Dec. 20 with 36 of its 61 rooms, and its one- and two-bedroom units will reopen next spring; LaSource suffered only minimal roof damage, but is closed except for emergency personnel; Rex Grenadian is closed until mid-December. For more information, visit www.grenadaemergency.com.

" Haiti. Tropical storm Jeanne swept more than 700 people to their deaths last week, primarily in the northwestern coastal city of Gonaives, hardest hit by floodwaters and mudslides. Port au Prince, the capital, was unaffected by the storm. Relief efforts have been slowed by waterlogged roads and security concerns.

" Jamaica. In Montego Bay, Holiday Inn SunSpree reopens Oct. 1; in Negril, Beachcomber reopens Nov. 15; Beaches Negril Beach Resort & Spa, Oct. l; Beaches Sandy Bay, Oct. 28; Grand Lido Negril Resort & Spa, Oct. 15; Mariners Inn, remains closed; Merrils Beach Resort, Oct 3; Merrils Beach Resort III, Dec. 1; Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa, Nov. 18; Sea Splash, remains closed; Tensing Pen, remains closed. In Runaway Bay, FDR reopens Oct. 9. On the South coast, Jakes, Treasure Beach and Strawberry Hill are closed until further notice. Fern Hill Club and Goblin Hill in Port Antonio are closed until further notice. In Ocho Rios, Sunset Jamaica Grande is closed for scheduled renovations and will reopen Dec. 19.

THE DIVING EQUIPMENT & MARKETING ASSOCIATION [DEMA], which holds its annual trade show for companies involved in scuba, action water sports and adventure/dive travel Oct. 13 to 16 in Houston, launched a relief fund for exhibitors in areas affected by the storms in the Caribbean and U.S. For information, visit www.dema.org.

CRUISE LINES are getting in on the relief act, too. Princess Cruises sent a tender to Grand Cayman with water, food and clothing; NCL Corp. will donate goods, water and food to the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Grenada and Jamaica and is working with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association to distribute food, water and items like tarps, flashlights, blankets and batteries. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises have contributed more than $1.5 million to storm-impacted Caribbean countries, according to Horace Hord, Jr., regional vice president of government and community relations for the Eastern Caribbean. Hord said that the funds were earmarked for the Caribbean Tourism Organization Relief Fund and for the Caribbean Hotel Association Foundation for children affected by the hurricanes. An additional $300,000 will be used for relief supplies.

OOPS!!!

" The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Associations annual Caribbean Conference and Trade Show is set for Oct. 4 to 7 in Barbados. The location was listed incorrectly in the Sept. 16 Caribbean E-letter. This years conference was moved from Grand Cayman to Barbados, due to Hurricane Ivans impact. Next years venue is St. Kitts.

Comments

From Our Partners

2018 Victory Cruise Line Webinar 2
Victory Cruise Lines – Great Lakes, Yucatan Peninsula and Central America!
Register Now
RockyMountaineer_Hero
7 Reasons You Should Be Selling Train Vacations
Read More
2020 Australia Webinar
Australia is open for business
Register Now

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI