CTO Statement #7
STATEMENT BY THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION (CTO)
ON THE IMPACT OF HURRICANE IVAN ON CTO MEMBER STATES
Sept. 14, 2004 12:00 p.m.- Following is the latest information on CTO-member countries impacted by Hurricanes as of noon today.
The Dept. of Tourism offices on Grand Cayman were severely damaged and remain closed. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are in good shape and have mobilized to help relief efforts for Grand Cayman. Road networks are intact, but some are still obstructed
Cayman Airways, the national airline, has been coordinating emergency flights into Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac from Houston, Tampa and Miami. Cayman Airways flights will take US citizens back to the United States on these emergency flights.
Owen Roberts International Airport is open for restricted flights only and Cayman Airways has cancelled all of its commercial flights through the end of the day Wednesday due to the closure of the Owen Roberts International Airport. The airline says it is evaluating the situation and will resume operation as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.
Cayman Brac's Gerrard Smith International Airport is open for restricted flights only.
Cell phones are working, although the volume of calls makes if difficult to make contact as circuits are almost permanently busy. Land phone lines remain down, but the telephone company, Cable and Wireless is reporting that its core network systems for fixed lines for local and international calling and its mobile service are up and running.
The Department of Tourism has set up a Cayman Islands Hurricane Relief Fund. The account number is 621506296065 with Chase Manhattan Banks. The wiring instructions follow: JPMorgan Chase Bank, 60 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10165,. ABA # 021000021. Swift Code for international use only: CHASUS33
The airport is functional with air traffic control, Customs and Immigration in place. Air Jamaica, Air Caribes, LIAT and Caribbean Star have restarted limited service. LIAT CEO Gary Cullen has told CTO that the regional carrier is putting on four scheduled daily flights from Port of Spain, Barbados and St. Vincent into Grenada.
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) has advised that until the runway lights can be restored, air transport is limited to daylight operation. Also, there is still no public ground transport, such as taxis or buses, at the airport.
The Port Authority of Jamaica has advised CTO that the port sustained minimal damage and both the Montego Bay and Ocho Rios cruise ports will reopen today.
The first cruise ship since the passage of Hurricane Ivan, a vessel from Princess Cruises, is expected to dock at Montego Bay tomorrow. The Port Authority is expecting word later today on whether or not Royal Caribbean will call in Ocho Rios tomorrow. The cruise schedule will be back to normal next week.
Couples Resorts has informed CTO that its Resort in Negril will not be accepting any new arrivals until Sunday 19th September at the earliest. Couples Resorts has indicated that its Hurricane Policy is as follows
1. On property guests: If guests feel the need to leave, we will either refund them for their unused portion of their stay OR issue a credit for travel up to one year for the number of nights interrupted.
2. Arriving Guests: In the event that guests are unable to arrive as scheduled, we will offer them the following options:
A. They can arrive after the storm passes. Either for the same number of nights, in which case, we will make every effort to confirm the dates and categories, but guarantee no (hotel) rate increase - OR - stay for fewer nights, in which case they will be refunded for the interrupted nights.
B. We will issue a full credit for travel up to one year. We will guarantee the rate paid, regardless of the season they travel except for the following blackouts dates:
All Resorts: December 25, 2004 - January 2, 2005, February 10 - 22, 2005, June 30 - July 11, 2005. Plus: Couples Ocho Rios January 15 - 23, 2005. Couples Negril/ Couples Swept Away (Negril) Oct 7-10, 2004 and Oct 6 - 9, 2005
C. Full refunds will be allowed if, at resort discretion, a decision is made to close the resorts to any new arrivals. The refund will apply during the closed period.
Kristen Schneider/Theresa Alonzi
Kahn Travel Communications
Caribbean Tourism Organization
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