With the hurricane season officially upon us and to keep contributing to the recovering and fast-growing hospitality and tourism sector of our island, CHATA, on behalf of its members, recently wrote a letter to the Directorate of Risk Management & Disaster Policy regarding the tropical storm we anticipated on June 29, 2022.
Following the (unexpected) measures implemented by the government to ensure our safety, and considering the feedback received from members, CHATA provided the Crisis Team with the following considerations for future reference:
– The government’s communication regarding the implemented measures was very last minute and too late, making execution nearly impossible.
– The frequent last-minute changes caused a lot of confusion as well.
– The government failed to include hotel employees to the list of essential workers, forgetting that hotel operations also continue for the guests. This was verbally corrected, but the official list wasn’t communicated in writing till later that day. Without the official exemption by the government, employees and hotel staff refuse to drive to work to avoid fines. Consequently, some hotels had to accommodate their employees with a room to stay overnight, decreasing room availability for stranded passengers due to cancelled flights.
– Lastly, the CHATA members strongly advise the government to mitigate panic management, as to their perception the approach created unnecessary panic.
Hoping this information is of value to the Directorate of Risk Management & Disaster Policy and that it will be seriously considered, CHATA will continue working together with all parties to achieve our goals, continue to recover the sector and to connect tourism with the community.