As a recent newlywed, and veteran bridesmaid, I’ve seen it all. From various (and weird) wedding traditions to the ultimate meltdown over a spray tan, it can be tough to be a bride or a groom. To reduce wedding stress, many modern day brides and grooms are escaping to the beautiful islands of the Caribbean or the fiesta-filled nights of Central America.
As I plan for many of my friend’s nuptials this summer, I can’t help but think of those who have traveled down to the Gulf of Mexico this week, with love in the air, only to have Tropical Storm Chantal greet them upon their arrival. As of today, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, St. Lucia and the surrounding small islands of the Lesser Antilles all received a blow from Tropical Storm Chantal.
However, many vacationers, honeymooners and soon-to-be newlyweds make the same intrepid journey every year, visiting these tropical hot spots at the height of travel and wedding season, which is also the peak of hurricane season. Even the threat of adverse weather can’t dissuade the millions of travelers who pass through such resort destinations as Cancun, Cozumel, Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, the Florida Keys and more, from June 1, through November 30.
While resorts are enjoying this time of prosperity, there is always a chance that a tropical storm or hurricane could strike at any time, reducing tourism, cancelling weddings, or worse, shutting down the resort itself. So what’s the hospitality industry to do when severe weather threatens to put a damper on their guests’ plans? While comfort and luxury are top priorities, resorts and hotels are now focusing more on safety.
To meet the needs of their guests and ensure a memorable vacation (in a good way), responsible hotels and resorts are establishing severe weather response and business continuity plans to prepare for the unexpected. This includes having a plan in place for:
- The evacuation of guests on-site
- Planning indoor entertainment
- Rescheduling hotel room stays without extra costs to tourists
- Locking up loose beach furniture
- Hiring a 24/7 weather service to stay ahead of severe weather threats
Many ImpactWeather clients operate five-star resorts throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. During the height of travel and hurricane season, these hospitality locations will receive advanced, site-specific weather forecasts to help in their planning of when and when not to shut down. Closing a resort too early can be costly to the business, while shutting down too late can be dangerous and even deadly for guests, employees and emergency personnel.
To take safety precautions a step further, other resorts and hotels are hiring outsourced teams of meteorologists to confirm severe weather threats, offer business continuity advice, and make sure they are alerted 24/7 of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Even though Tropical Storm Chantal has dissipated into a tropical wave, we still have four more months of hurricane season. Our attention is now focused on the next hurricane threat. When and if Tropical Storm/Hurricane Dorian develops, will it pack a punch in the Caribbean and potentially sour some wedding plans? Or, will it dissipate into our distant memory? We hope for the best, but we’re dedicated to helping our clients affected by these weather systems stay prepared, which, in turn, helps their clients stay happy!