How long will we remember?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Myrtle Beach in quieter times.

This past week has been unkind not just to those living in the eastern seaboard of the USA, southern India, northern Philippines, Guam and Hong Kong it has also been difficult for the tourism industry. Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut have certainly had an impact.

Whether of not you believe in climate change is immaterial. The hurricane, monsoon and tropical storm season has produced story after story of flooding, sea surges and the effect of wind on buildings and the landscape.

It has meant that those affected areas will have lost a week, and maybe two or three weeks’ worth of tourism visits. Airlines have cancelled flights; tour operators have had to issue refunds and some hotels will have closed due to the effects of the hurricanes and tropical storms.

Guam and the northern Marianas in the Pacific Ocean were badly hit with 80% of power being lost on Guam – a popular tourist destination for  Jpanese, Taiwanese and Chinese visitors as well as being as US naval base.

Myrtle Beach in the American state of South Carolina is one of the top family holiday destinations in the USA. Lying towards the middle of a sixty mile beach area known as the Grand Strand, few tourists will have hung around over the weekend. The airport is just a mile from the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding land is low. The main coastal highway, I-95, is blocked in many areas and continued rain might deepen the floodwaters. It all means that hotel and attraction owners will have lost business during one of the months that they would expect good visitor numbers. There were far fewer flight cancellations on Sunday afternoon and evening and people started driving back to the homes. But it will still take a while before Myrtle Beach and the other towns along the coast return to normal.

Not so in southern India where many people would not even think of holiday in the monsoon period.

But Hong Kong is a tourist attraction all year round. Ferry services between the airport and all of the Pearl River Delta ports were cancelled and all daylight flights yesterday were either cancelled or delayed. It will see fewer visitors but for how long? I can’t imagine it will be long. The Fire Dragon Dance scheduled for the 23-25th of September will probably go ahead as normal.

How long will it take international visitors to forget this unusual spasm of bad weather and once again put any of these destination on the list of future holidays? Every destination affected will hope that it will not be long. Experience says it will take as long as it takes the authorities to say “business as usual.”

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