The Caribbean was whipped by two hurricanes last year–Irma and Maria. But even those islands that were most affected by the storms are open for business and asking tourists to return.
Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a near-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic region, which includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane season runs from May 1 to Nov. 30.
- Cayman Islands – The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism has launched a “Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee,” a promise made by its partners on the islands to cover any cancellations made before arrival and compensation if vacation time is cut short due to bad weather. The guarantee includes a full refund of accommodation fees at participating hotels, condos and villas island-wide. As soon as a hurricane watch is issued by authorities, travelers who cancel up to 48 hours before check-in will only face a maximum one-night penalty. They will get a free replacement stay throughout the summer. “In the Cayman Islands, we strive to not only provide unforgettable and relaxing vacations, but most importantly through this generous program, we offer our guests a seamless solution for when travel disruptions occur,” Rosa Harris, director of tourism for the Cayman Islands, said in a written statement. An array of hotels, condominiums and villas across Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are participating in the Worry Free Hurricane Guarantee. This program is available only through participating hotels and resorts.
- Jamaica – The all-inclusive Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay in Jamaica also has a hurricane guarantee for all bookings throughout the entire hurricane season this year from May 1 to Nov. 30.If there is a closure of Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport because of a Category One or higher hurricane, guests who have made deposits on bookings can reschedule for a future stay without penalty. They can even get an upgrade if available.If they are already on the trip and a Category One or higher hurricane develops, they will get a certificate for a free future stay within a year.
- Turks & Caicos – Club Med will issue guests a future travel certificate in the event of a hurricane. The certificate must be used within a year of the travel date and applies to participating resorts such as Cancun and Turks and Caicos.
- Mexico – Club Med will issue guests a future travel certificate in the event of a hurricane. The certificate must be used within a year of the travel date and applies to participating resorts such as Cancun and Turks and Caicos.
Airlines will typically waive change fees if a hurricane warning is issued.
Other islands are simply trying to attract travelers by offering deals or packages at a discount.