Travelers are being advised to hold off booking in hurricane damaged areas

By Brittney Matejka
September 21, 2017 - 5:31pm Updated: September 21, 2017 - 7:02pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB. - Damage from hurricane Maria and Irma has left much of Cuba and the Dominican Republic in devastation.

Both are popular tourist destinations for Canadians said Mary Limere, Expedia CruiseShipCentre.

“Most resorts that have sustained a lot of damage, won’t be open to the tourists at all and those will be announced at the time they do re-open,” she explained.

This could be alarming to travellers who have upcoming vacations booked in some of the hardest hit areas. But Lemire said that most travel companies have been accommodating their customers given the circumstances of the disaster areas.

“Most of the companies such as Sunwing, Westjet Vacations, Air Canada and Transat, are all being very lenient about giving people refunds or at least partial refunds if they want to cancel their bookings,” she said.

She suggests that travellers who are still looking to book a vacation consider areas that weren’t hit by the hurricane including Jamaica, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Mary Jane Hiebert, Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, advises travellers hold off booking future trips to any of the devastated areas until at least January.

“We are waiting for resorts and the tour operators to let us know what time frame these resorts have to get themselves back up and running,” she explained.

Hiebert also cautions travellers to consider a few things if they do decide to book a trip to any hurricane damaged areas in the coming months.

“If they suggest they say it’s going to be up and running in 3 months, does that mean all the services will be up and running? Will all the restaurants be up and running? Is only one section of the hotel going to be up and running?” she said.

Both Hiebert and Lemire advise travellers should consult with a travel agent prior to booking a vacation to any areas that have hurricane damage.


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