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NATURAL DISASTERS


The latest destinations to suffer have been Dominica, which was hit by Hurricane Erika in late August(7)


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while the Bahamas had to endure 130mph winds from Hurricane Joaquin in early October.(8)


More than 30 people lost their lives in Dominica as roads and homes were destroyed. Although most hotels continued to operate and the airport, which suffered damage to its terminal, resumed commercial flights in mid-September. The total financial impact of the hurricane – including both damage and reconstruction costs - is expected to be around US$500 million, according to the World Bank.(9) Fundraising efforts for Dominica, such as the CTO Relief Fund, are ongoing.(10)


International groups including the European Commission, United Nations and Red Cross have also discussed how to forge a common approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR) for the region.


Destinations can recover from natural disasters given the appropriate support – Haiti, devastated by an earthquake in 2010, saw a 9.8% rise in tourism arrivals in the first four months of 2015, on top of a 21% increase in 2014. (11)


TERRORISM


There have been 31 incidents of tourists being attacked by terrorists in the world over the last year. (13)


Tunisia has suffered the most: in March, two gunmen killed 22 tourists at the Bardo National Museum in the capital Tunis. This was followed by the massacre of 30 British holidaymakers on a beach near Sousse in June. The UK government has advised against all non-essential travel to Tunisia, which effectively stops British tour operators from sending tourists to the destination. Tui and Thomas Cook have cancelled all holidays to Tunisia until spring 2016. (14)


UK Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, has promised £30 million in funding to make Caribbean health facilities “more structurally resistant” to natural disasters. (12)


TAKEAWAY: “TOO MANY CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES ARE HELD BACK BECAUSE THEY REMAIN VULNERABLE TO SEVERE ECONOMIC OR CLIMATE SHOCKS. BRITAIN’S CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE CARIBBEAN AND OUR NEW SUPPORT WILL HELP BOOST GROWTH AND KICK-START ECONOMIC RECOVERY ACROSS THE REGION,” - UK’S INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY, JUSTINE GREENING


CONTACTS Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency  cdema.org/ Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)  carpha.org/ European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)  ec.europa.eu/echo/ United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)  unisdr.org/ National Hurricane Centre  nhc.noaa.gov/ Caribbean Tourism Organization  onecaribbean.org


Sources


1 Travel Trade Gazette www.ttgmedia.com/news/news/corfu-deaths-former-md- accuses-company-of-losing-sight-of-human-side-of-tragedy-501


2 Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) carpha.org/Portals/0/docs/MEETINGS/Epid_LabDir/Indar_TourismHealthProgramme BackgroundandComponents.pdf


3 Travel Foundation www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/projects/destinations/ cyprus/measuring_tourisms_impact


4 Travel Foundation www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/projects/destinations/ jamaica/capacity_building_with_the_rastafari_indigenous_village


5 Sandals Foundation www.sandalsfoundation.org/news/beaches-resorts-launches- regions-first-volunteenism-program.html


6 Green Globe greenglobe.com/members/caribbean/ 7 TTG www.ttgmedia.com/news/news/dominica-cleans-up-after-tropical-storm-795


8 TTG www.ttgmedia.com/news/news/hurricane-joaquin-hits-the-bahamas-1093 9 Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica news.gov.dm/index.php/news/ 2959-pm-skerrit-addresses-the-nation-a-month-after-erika


10 CTO www.onecaribbean.org/cto-announces-relief-fund-to-assist-dominica- following-disastrous-flood/


11 CTO www.onecaribbean.org/statistics/ 12 UK Government www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-announces-300-million-fund-for- caribbean-infrastructure


13 Risk Advisory Group www.riskadvisory.net/ 14 TTG www.ttgmedia.com/news/news/-tui-uk-to-resume-tunisia-programme-next-march-675 15 Abta http://abta.com/news-and-views/news/holiday-habits-report-2015


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Tour operators must closely follow the travel advice from their own governments who will have access to a range of classified security sources and are best placed to assess risk. Operators should also have robust, well-tested contingency plans in place.


Neither the terrorist incident in Paris in January nor the bomb attack in Bangkok in August were believed to have been targetted at tourists.


The perceived safety of destinations such as the Caribbean, US and Canary Islands, meanwhile, has put them in a strong position this summer.


TAKEAWAY: “THE SCALE AND NATURE OF THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN TUNISIA SENT SHOCKWAVES THROUGH OUR INDUSTRY, BUT THE INCIDENTS OF THE SUMMER DO NOT APPEAR TO HAVE DETERRED BRITS FROM TAKING HOLIDAYS,” - MARK TANZER, CEO ABTA, ABTA HOLIDAY HABITS REPORT 2015(15)


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