Travel Advisory Updates for Natural Disaster Destinations

Travel Advisory Updates for Natural Disaster Destinations

October 10, 2017
Updated: July 25, 2018

With the recent natural disasters of Hurricane Irma, Maria, and Harvey; the flooding in Texas; and the earthquakes in Mexico, it can be difficult to tell where and when it’s safe to travel.

Our travel specialists regularly keep in contact with our suppliers who work in affected areas. We’ve contacted our members whose vacations could be impacted by a natural disaster, advising them on alternatives to their current destinations, discussing trip cancellations when necessary, the insurance implications of going to areas subject to advisory warnings, and even helped travellers who are in danger’s way get home safely. 

So if you are looking to book a vacation in these areas in the near future, we’ve created a guide (updated regularly) to help you know which favourite destinations of Albertans are accepting visitors, when closed destinations are planning to reopen, and even included first-hand accounts from our members and travel specialists who have visited these destinations following a storm, flood, or other natural event.

If you want to know more about any of these locations, like if your favourite resort is up-and-running, contact your local AMA Travel Agent for more information. We have agents across the province ready to help you plan a relaxing – and safe – vacation. 

Natural disasters updates for vacation hot spots – Caribbean, Mexico

Please be aware that conditions, such as weather, can change very quickly. This guide is not an endorsement or guarantee of the suitability of any particular destination.

Note: Your travel insurance may be invalid if your destination is under a severe travel advisory. Please search for your destination from the Government of Canada travel advisory list or contact your AMA Travel Specialist before travelling to any at-risk areas.






Caribbean

Country Advisory
The Dominican Republic reopened for service
Cuba (areas that are open) Hotels in Varadero, Holguin, Havana, Cayo Largo, Camaguey, Varadero, Santa Clara, Cayo Guillermo are operational
Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria reopened Nov 2 2017
Jamaica unaffected by storm
Bahamas reopened for service
Freeport reopened for service
Nassau reopened for service
Paradise Island reopened for service
Grand Bahama Island reopened for service
Barbados unaffected by storm
St. Lucia reopened for service
Cayman Islands unaffected by storm
Grenada unaffected by storm
Trinidad and Tobago unaffected by storm
Antigua reopened for service
Saint Kitts and Nevis unaffected by storm
St. Vincent and the Grenadines unaffected by storm
Barbuda avoid all travel
St. Maartin/Netherlands Antilles recommend high degree of caution due to the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, Jan 15 2018
Turks and Caicos, Providenciales reopened Oct 10 2017
Puerto Rico recommend high degree of caution due to damage caused by the hurricanes Irma and Maria, Nov 3 2017
San Juan, Puerto Rico Take normal security precautions
Dominica Recommend high degree of caution due to the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, Feb 28 2018
British Virgin Islands Take normal security precautions
Guadeloupe Take normal security precautions
US Virgin Islands recommend high degree of caution due to damage caused by the hurricanes Irma and Maria, Nov 3 2017
Montserrat reopened Oct 13 2017
Martinique reopened Oct 10 2017
Anguilla reopened Oct 13 2017
Haiti Avoid non-essential travel to the neighborhoods of Martissant, Carrefour, Bel Air and Cité Soleil, in the Port-au-Prince area due to ongoing tensions throughout the country July 25, 2018
Nicaragua Avoid non-essential travel to Nicaragua due to civil unrest throughout the country July 25, 2018



Cities / States Advisory
Orlando theme parks are operational and open to guests
Miami largely unaffected by storm
Tampa storm redirected, Tampa largely unaffected
Daytona Beach reopened to guests two weeks following Hurricane Irma
Jacksonville debris removed from beaches
Houston Texas reopened Oct 10 2017
Galveston, Texas reopened Oct 10 2017
Atlanta, Georgia unaffected by storm
Naples reopened Oct 10 2017
Florida Keys reopened Oct 10 2017
Cancun unaffected by earthquake
Cabo San Lucas reopened, clean up completed following hurricane
Huatulco unaffected by earthquake
Puerto Vallarta unaffected by earthquake
Riviera Nayarit unaffected by earthquake
Mazatlan unaffected by earthquake
Acapulco avoid non-essential travel due to high levels of violence and organized crime, Feb 28
Mexico City reopened Oct 10 2017



Cruise

If you have a cruise planned in the area and want to see which ports of call are open or closed, you can follow their status on this daily updated list to see how your itinerary may have changed. Most cruise lines have already altered their itineraries, and should not be affected by the storms.

Open Ports of Call

Country Advisory
Amber Cove, Dominican Republic reopened for service
Basseterre, St. Kitts unaffected by storm
Belize City, Belize unaffected by storm
Bridgetown, Barbados unaffected by storm
Castries, St. Lucia unaffected by storm
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands reopened for service, Nov 22 2017
Colon, Panama unaffected by storm
Costa Maya, Mexico unaffected by storm
Falmouth, Jamaica unaffected by storm
Fort-de-France, Martinique reopened for service
Frederiksted, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands reopened for service, Nov 30 2017
Freeport, Bahamas unaffected by storm
Galveston, Texas reopened Oct 11 2017
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands unaffected by storm
Grand Turk Island, Turks & Caicos reopened, Oct 11 2017
Gustavia, St. Barts reopened for service, Nov 22 2017
St. Georges, Grenada unaffected by storm
Harvest Caye, Belize unaffected by storm
Havana, Cuba reopened for serivce
Key West, Florida reopened for service
Kralendijk, Bonaire unaffected by storm
La Romana, Dominican Republic reopened for service
Montego Bay, Jamaica unaffected by storm
Nassau, Bahamas unaffected by storm
Ocho Rios, Jamaica unaffected by storm
Orenjestad, Aruba unaffected by storm
Philipsburg, St. Maarten reopened for service, Dec 4 2017
Progreso, Mexico unaffected by storm
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica unaffected by storm
Road Bay, Anguilla will reopen for service in late November 2017
Roatan Island, Honduras unaffected by storm
Roseau, Dominica reopened for service, Jan 28 2018
Samana, Dominican Republic reopened for service
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic unaffected by storm
St. John’s Antigua reopened for service
Tortola, British Virgin Islands reopened for service
Willemstad, Curacao unaffected by storm
San Juan, Puerto Rico port now open, Nov 8 2017

Closed Ports

There are no closed ports.

Eyes on the Ground – Recent Traveller Perspectives

Marilyn and Donald B. – AMA Members who recently returned from Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida: “It was like nothing had even happened.”  The couple pointed out that while some broken branches had been pruned and piled along the roadside, the hotel showed no damage and the crowds were as busy as ever.

Kelly E. – AMA Member who recently returned from Miami, Florida: "I was in Florida September 24-30 for a work-related conference in Miami Beach. On the surface, the beachfront appeared to look and operate as usual, but as soon as you left the beach strip, you could certainly see the effects of Hurricane Irma. As most of our time was spent in/near Miami beach, we didn’t encounter any major obstacles. There were grocery stores and restaurants open nearby and “hotel row” appeared pretty much pristine. There appears to be a very well organized effort to get Miami back on its feet, but it is going to be a long-term project."

If you have any questions about how hard your pending destination was hit, or where to book your upcoming vacation, please contact your local AMA Travel Specialist. We keep in constant contact with our travel providers so we can vet the safety of our destinations. We also contact members who may be travelling to these areas in the near future.

Also, for those looking to book a warm holiday in the next six months, or those who are hoping to relocate to a different destination, it’s important to book now, as destinations not impacted by the storms will be booked up very quickly.

The Effect of Tourism – Why It Matters

For anyone travelling to resort destinations who may feel guilty for being on vacation, know that your money goes a long way to helping repair and recover from the disasters. We’re here to tell you that the dollars you spend in these destinations and resorts not only keep local residents employed but also improves the entire country’s economy.

A dollar spent as a tourist can be more valuable than a dollar given to a charity. Now, you should absolutely give to countries in need, but how you do it can have incredibly different effects. A few points: 

  • Money spent on local tourism industry is an investment. Rather than a large cash dump of charity money that disappears after it is spent, investing in local businesses creates a self-circulating system of income that will support workers and build infrastructure for years to come
  • Hotel and restaurant staff are primarily locals
  • By keeping these workers employed, you will be supporting not only the immediate businesses, but schools that train the workers, farmers that supply food to the restaurants, and even local artisans whose work decorates the hotels and resorts

So go and have fun in the sun. You’ll not only be rejuvenating yourself, but an entire economy that’s in need.

About the Author
Caleb Caswell
Caleb Caswell is the digital copywriter for AMA Travel. When travelling, he enjoys not making plans and expanding his wardrobe. His top travel recommendation is trying Japan’s raw-chicken tataki. C’mon, live a little.