Stranded tourists on Caribbean holidays provides region with economic boost
As the chaos continues from the ash-spewing volcano in Iceland, which has grounded thousands of flights across the UK and Europe, the Caribbean are receiving an unexpected boost in tourists who are stranded on their Caribbean holidays.
For the first time in a week, today a small number of flights started resuming their services from the UK as British airspace opened its restrictions to air traffic. Last Wednesday, the eruption of a volcano in Iceland caused a large cloud of ash to drift south to the UK, which was impossible and dangerous for aircraft to fly through.
All air traffic was banned by British airspace, causing all airports in the UK and many across Europe to close, leaving thousands of tourists stranded in both the UK and abroad. Many tourists on Caribbean holidays were also stranded and unable to fly back to the UK or Europe which was a positive outcome for many Caribbean hotels and tourism companies.
Hotel managers called in extra staff members and extra purchases of food to accommodate the stranded travellers and many adventure tour operators have been hired to keep guests entertained with a range of exciting activities including golf, tennis, diving, sailing and kayaking.
A spokesman for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Johnson JohnRose explained:
"Some of them may be running out of money, but they still have to stay here and find something to eat and do things."
However, some Caribbean islands including Antigua and Barbados, are not seeing the benefits as many of their tourist are from the UK and are currently stuck at home unable to board flights to take them on their Caribbean holidays. With over 95,000 flights cancelled over the last week, it looks like there may well be a further delay for travellers looking forward to their Antigua holidays and Barbados holidays as the backlog in passengers could affect air travel for a number of weeks yet.
Tourism Minister for Jamaica, Ed Bartlett is delighted by the results saying:
"It really comes at a good time."
With over 2,500 tourists stranded in Jamaica, businesses on the island are benefiting from telecommunication companies to farmers, and local small bed and breakfasts.
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