by Loren G. Edelstein | September 13, 2017
The Caribbean is hardly off-limits as a result of Hurricane Irma. While several islands bore the brunt of the storm, others were more fortunate and are welcoming displaced guests and groups. 
Ovation Vacations experienced $18 million in displaced business due to Irma, mostly from St. Barts and Anguilla, according to agency president Zack Ezon. "The good news is that most of the Caribbean came out of Irma unscathed," he noted. "We have placed nearly $1 million this week in business to alternative Caribbean destinations." Among properties that have received diverted business are:
Cayman --  Kimpton Seafire, Ritz-Carlton
Dominican Republic --  Amanera, Cap Cana, Gansevoort, Tortuga Bay
St Lucia --  Viceroy, Jade Mountain, Body Holiday
Antigua --  Jumby Bay, Carlisle Bay
Puerto Rico --  Dorado Beach
Bahamas --  Ocean Club, Baha Mar, Cove/Reef at Atlantis
Nevis --  Four Seasons
Turks & Caicos --  Amanyara, Grace Bay Club, Shore Club, Gansevoort
St. Kitts --  Park Hyatt (opening in November)
Costa Rica --  Four Seasons, Andaz
Nicaragua --  Mukul/ Nakupe
Barbados --  Sandy Lane
Grenadines --  Pink Sands Club Canouan, Mustique
Aruba --  Ritz-Carlton Aruba
Mexico --  Cancún area (Mayakoba/Riviera Maya), Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos
Hawaii --  Four Seasons
Jamaica --  Half Moon Bay, Goldeneye Jamaica, Round Hill
For the latest developments, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's Hurricane Information Hub serves as a valuable resource, with island-by-island updates.
"Our advice to clients has been to wait until the end of this week to see where things fall after further investigation," said Ezron. "Indeed, as you know, the situation is still very raw with so many of our dear friends without water or electricity. Some of the philanthropic efforts we have heard are heartwarming, and we are working on our own philanthropic investigation, as so many people want to help but are unsure how."
Northstar Meetings Group has advised those who wish to help to consider a donation to the American Red Cross or Global Giving. The Caribbean Tourism Organization's relief fund, which directs all contributions to the ministries of tourism for member states impacted by the hurricane, is another worthy cause.