NOAA is predicting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year with a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms. They forecast a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. They predict that 4 to 8 storms could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
While most of the Caribbean escapes from any significant storm activity in any given year, regardless of the predictions, it only takes one storm to wreak havoc, so all hands must be on deck and plans in place now to mitigate the impact of any potential storm.
CHTA has put in place a number of readiness efforts and reminds members to review the information provided by CHTA to consider as part of their own business resiliency plans in the preparation for the season.
CHTA Crisis Communications Manual Updated
Guides NHTAs, Tourism Boards and DMOs, Travel Partners in Planning and Recovery Efforts
The need for quick and accurate information is essential during a period of serious crisis, so coping effectively with a crisis demands thorough preparation and a well-thought-out communication strategy. CHTA, working with its PR firm Marketplace Excellence, created the guide last year and has just updated it. The guide supplements local efforts to develop communications preparedness and the response and recovery process for Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) members, national tourism organizations, and public and private sector industry stakeholders before, during and after a potential disaster. Strengthening local communications assists CHTA and its regional public-sector counterpart, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with their support efforts for affected destinations and the region.
The guide is based on experiences and needs faced during the 2017 hurricane season. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated several Caribbean destinations, caught many by surprise and highlighted the shortfalls in general preparedness across the region for such a natural disaster. It suggests to CHTA members and its stakeholders how to identify and strengthen their preparation and response systems, and ultimately, to manage crises effectively by ensuring more accurate and timely communications, thus speeding up the road to recovery. The guide contains many important points of contact which may be used in the event of an emergency.
Included in the Guide is CHTA’s recommended Hurricane Cancellation Guidelines, to assist hotels and destinations in establishing or upgrading their policies aimed at providing assurances to guests and potential guests, protecting the hotel’s and destination’s reputation, and creating consumer confidence when considering booking travel to the region during the Atlantic Hurricane season.
Have a Plan? Review Your Plan. Update Your Plan. Or…. Plan to Fail
Take the time to review CHTA’s webinar on Hurricane Readiness, presented by one of the industry’s best readiness experts, Kevan Dean, from Atlantis in The Bahamas. The principles and steps he shares apply to all hotels, no matter the size. Already have a plan? Click here to log into the CHTA membership portal, to view the CHTA Storm Prep Series: Proactive Property Protection to see how it measures up to best practices webinar found in the Knowledge Center.
Insurance Readiness: Before and After a Potential Loss
Don’t Get Caught Uncovered or Under-covered! The 2017 major storms were an eye-opener for many hotels which thought they had sufficient insurance, only to learn after the fact that they didn’t. The ‘road to recovery’ can be a lot longer if you fall short in your insurance planning.
Review your insurance readiness and hear from CHTA’s insurance experts:
Click here to log into the CHTA membership portal and view the CHTA Storm Prep Series: Your Insurance Checklist webinar found in the Knowledge Center, where you will:
Got A Storm Loss Claim? Consider This:
Six Immediate Post-Storm Action Items
CHTA insurance loss consultants and Allied Member Stanley Smith of Smith Orloff & Associates, has compiled the top six immediate action steps any business must take after a storm. Go to: http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/six-immediate-post-storm-action-items/
Provide Assurance to Customers and Potential Customers
Also consider how proactive you are in providing your customers and potential customers with the opportunity to purchase affordable travel insurance. Hear from TripMate on the CHTA Storm Prep Series: Your Insurance Checklist webinar under the Knowledge Center located in the CHTA membership portal for details on how you can tap into this CHTA member service.