Caribbean fears grim tourist season in Irma’s wake

By -NO AUTHOR-

(REUTERS) — Hurricane Irma’s deadly tear through the Caribbean will hobble the region’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry for months, just as hotels, airlines, and cruises were gearing up for the region’s peak winter season.

As one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, Irma has killed 21 people, leaving hotels, airports and other buildings damaged or flattened across prime vacation islands such as St. Martin and Barbuda. On Friday, it hurtled north of Cuba toward Florida.

Jack Richards, president of U.S.-based tour operator Pleasant Holidays, said it may be well into next year before the local tourism industry begins to normalize, costing it billions in lost business. The region’s busiest travel season runs from mid-December to Easter, when Americans, Canadians and Europeans leave behind snow and cold for the warm, turquoise Caribbean waters.

Source:: World Net Daily – World

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