CHTA CEO DISCUSSES REGIONALTOURISM RECOVERY AFTER HURRICANES

anguillian
By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:04 Updated

 

 

 

L-R Mr. Delroy Lake, Mrs. Gilda Gumbs-Samuel and Mr. Frank Comito

L-R Mr. Delroy Lake, Mrs. Gilda Gumbs-Samuel and Mr. Frank Comito

The executive and members of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association have benefitted from a meeting with Mr. Frank Comito, CEO of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

Mr. Comito, who was in Anguilla last week, said the CHTA had been involved in supporting the hurricane recovery and communications efforts in Anguilla, and the other member territories and organisations in the region, since early September.

“There are two ways to quickly rebound and recover for the affected Caribbean destinations,” he told media representatives in Anguilla. “One is through construction – and we are seeing that going on everywhere; and the other is through tourism. However, we don’t want tourists coming until we are ready for them but, in some areas which were severely affected, we are starting to see that they are getting ready for the visitors.” He named a number of islands where recovery efforts were either almost completed or still in progress.

“In Anguilla it will probably take some time for the full tourism infrastructure to be back on board in the case of all the hotels, but you are probably on a path to recovery faster than other destinations. These are St. Thomas, St. John, the British Virgin Islands and both parts of St. Maarten,” he said.
Mr. Comito stressed that it was in the best interest of the Caribbean destinations to get people back to work and revenue back into the economy. He emphasised that construction and tourism were the keys towards that end.
Meanwhile, a handout, dated December 12, from the CHTA official, on the state of tourism in the region, stated that following the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, over 70% of the Caribbean’s destinations were now open for business and welcoming visitors.

“This translates into over 75 percent of the region’s accommodation inventory,” the document stated. “Ten destinations seriously impacted by the storms are Anguilla, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Barths, St. Croix, St. John, St. Martin/St. Maarten and St. Thomas. In these destinations, an average of 20% of the hotels are operating at some level and many are still accommodating relief workers, construction personnel, impacted employees and their families.”

The document continued: “All airports are open and accommodating commercial flights. For the most affected destinations, full air service has yet to return to pre-hurricane levels but additional flights are being announced regularly. Inbound flights are operating with high loads.

“Nearly 90 percent of the Caribbean’s cruise ports of call are open. Cruise ships started returning in November to the most severely impacted destinations with reports indicating a return to all ports of call by January.”

During his visit to Anguilla, Mr. Comito met with a number of property owners and executive members of the Hotel and Tourism Association and there was an exchange of views on the island’s tourism recovery efforts.

anguillian
By anguillian December 25, 2017 10:04 Updated

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