We often think about the impact of a hurricane should we be hit by one, but we somehow tend to overlook what impact we could have should one hit in one of our major source markets.
Earlier this week Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast cost of the United States. Although we were not physically impacted by the hurricane, an event of this nature has the potential to cause us serious long-term harm.
Over the last couple of years while the economic pressure has been hurting people everywhere, Barbados has been able to realise growth from the northeastern area of the United States, which includes, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Having been hard hit by the hurricane, this impact has the potential to push vacation planning to the back of the minds of persons who might have been thinking of coming to Barbados for a holiday during the next few months.
The above-mentioned areas carry large Barbadian populations as well, many of whom look forward to visiting family and friends here on the island over the Christmas periods. However, if they are affected as a result of the hurricane, they too might be forced to reconsider their visit for this year.
In short, a disaster like this could have deep implications for us here in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean.
Maintaining our presence in these markets is a very delicate situation, one, which perhaps requires taking a leaf out of President Obama’s book.
Even though the president is in the middle of a critical political battle, his concentration over the last few days from what I could see, has been on the welfare of the people. I feel that my countrymen and women also share a similar emotion.
To the thousands of Americans currently dislocated, we sincerely regret your situation and hope for your speedy recovery.
To the many Barbadians living within the affected areas of the passage of Hurricane Sandy, you are also in our thoughts and we hope for your speedy recovery as well.
There is never a good time for disaster to strike and for fully understanding the pain of those affected, is very difficult unless you have been in their situation yourself. Hats off the President of the United States for putting people before politics.
Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.