What a mess. As folks in Puerto Rico try to cope with flooding and the lack of electricity from the effects of Hurricane Maria, the post-Maria work continues for St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and in poor Dominica, which bore the full force of the hurricane’s wrath earlier this week. The Caribbean Journal today was reporting that “Hurricane Maria clobbered Puerto Rico on Wednesday, sending it into a total island-wide blackout, with reports of significant property damage.” Top that off with the severe damage done by Hurricane Irma to St. Martin/St. Maarten, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, Anguilla, Cuba and ... continue reading →


This a crushing blow for the island of St. Maarten/St. Martin, one of the favourite Caribbean retreats for Canadians every winter. Sunwing, a popular supplier of flights from Canada to the Dutch/French island, says they’re pulling out of all flights through the end of next April because of major damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The island’s airport was badly hurt by the storm, and many hotels also were badly damaged. That’s hard enough on folks who live there, but losing thousands of Canadian visitors will mean an even bigger loss for an island where folks rely on tourism to feed ... continue reading →


Volunteer tourism has become a big thing in the world. And now Hurricane Irma has given the average person a chance to take part. You don’t have to go and build a house in St. Martin or Barbuda or Cuba, although that would be awesome. No, all you really need to do to help folks in Irma-stricken parts of the Caribbean (and Florida, by the looks of it) is do what many of us have done for years; visit. I wrote that a week or so ago. And now we’ve had more damage from Hurricane Maria, which has devasted the ... continue reading →


There are challenges for sure. But Caribbean tourism officials are grateful for the Canadians who continue to visit year after year. The chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Richard Sealy, and the secretary-general of the CTO, Hugh Riley, are in Toronto this week to meet with major players in the business and to be sure Canadians continue to shower affection – and dollars – on the Caribbean. “Things are very good at the moment,” said Sealy, who also is the tourism minister for Barbados, one of my favourite spots in the Caribbean. “Visitor numbers are good, receipts are good. We ... continue reading →


Pretty cool report the other day from hotels.com showed that Toronto is now the third most booked international city for U.S. travellers. The report, which analyzed bookings on hotels.com, found that U.S. travel types booked the most rooms in London, followed by Paris. Toronto was number three, moving ahead of Rome. Which is pretty cool. After Rome, in position five, was Vancouver, followed by Tokyo, Hong Kong, Montreal, Barcelona and Niagara Falls. It’s a not a definitive study in that it only takes into account bookings on one website. But it’s encouraging for Toronto and Canadian tourism types, I’d think… ... continue reading →