Travel demand to Caribbean hit by Hurricane Beryl

Tourist demand for Caribbean destinations is already being affected by Hurricane Beryl, which is now heading towards Jamaica after devastating eastern parts of the region.

Travel intelligence platform Mabrian, part of The Data Appeal group, said the climate perception for the region has plummeted, threatening short-term tourism demand to the Caribbean.

Mabrian analysed five destinations exposed to the impact of this and future hurricanes: Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexican Caribbean, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

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It compared how their Perception of Climate Index (PCI) varied in the last week, and in the same week in 2023.

This indicator measures the effect of the weather conditions on visitor satisfaction during their stay in a destination, based on expectations about their experience.

Mabrian found the PCI score of the Mexican Caribbean is the most affected by the threat of Hurricane Beryl, going in one week from 65 points to 43, out of a possible 100.

Jamaica has fallen from 89 to 67 points over the past week.

Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic (-3.5%), Cuba (-3.4%) and Puerto Rico (-4.7%) experienced less dramatic declines in their PCI since last week, given that the weather forecast does not estimate that Beryl will fully affect these destinations, although the weather will worsen.

Carlos Cendra (pictured), partner and marketing and communications director at Mabrian, said the drop in the climate perception is affecting flight searches from the US to Cancun, falling by around 20% in the last four days, to travel from July 1-7.

“With the data in hand, destinations can design outreach and emergency plans tailored to the sensitivity of the various source markets,” said Cendra.

“It is about disseminating messages aimed at potential tourists, so that they do not rule out travelling to these destinations; and to those who are already visiting, addressing their expectations, concerns, and needs.”

The PCI scores also fell compared to the same period last year.

“Climate change is a phenomenon that will continue to alter meteorology, and destinations must be prepared to face, tactically and strategically, one of the greatest challenges of our time,” added Cendra.

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