Friday, May 20, 2011

Caribbean islands fear climate change threat to tourism

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (AlertNet) - Regina Dumas, who runs the Coffee River Resort on the cigar-shaped Caribbean island of Tobago, worries that local tourism is suffering from increasingly uncertain weather.

“Last year’s dry season was excessively dry, and this year we’ve had excessive rain,” she says. “When people spend their money to come to the island, they’re disappointed with the erratic weather we’ve been experiencing. It’s just unpredictable.”

The resort offers nature trails, bird watching, a diverse range of flora and fauna, and trips to the rain forest - the oldest in the Western hemisphere.

“We don’t know what to tell our guests when they can’t go out to the trails because of the unseasonable rains or because of intense heat,” Dumas frets.

Tobago, the smaller sister island of industrialised Trinidad, promotes itself as an eco-tourism destination, attracting visitors from around the world to its rainforests, wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs, which host a colourful array of birds and fish.

Orville London, chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, which administers the island, agrees that the local climate appears to be shifting, bringing larger storms. More >>>

Location:Cayman Islands