COVID-19

Covid-19: Martinique is emptied of its tourists as high season approaches

Florin Hossu, edited by Manon Fossat
7:30 am, October 27, 2021

Between health crisis, curfew and tensions on the island related to the vaccination obligation of caregivers, tourists flee Martinique. This year the fall in the activity of professionals in the sector exceeds 60%. A situation that is immediately worrying and sheds light on the months to come.

REPORTAGE

Health Minister Olivier Véran announced on Tuesday the dispatch of a mediation team to reestablish dialogue between the CHU leadership and the inter-union of health professionals, while the vaccination obligation continues to be strongly contested by the unions. In general, only 35% of Martinicans have a complete vaccination schedule. The island is still under a curfew at 7 p.m. and the coronavirus is still actively circulating. A catastrophic situation for tourism, while the peak tourism season usually begins at the end of the year.

A drop in activity of more than 60%

“How do you respond to a customer who says, ‘Do you think things will be better at Christmas?’ The puzzle has been underway for a year and a half for Sébastien Gintz, director of the Hotel La Batelière, a 4-star hotel located by the sea near Fort-de-France. Because compared to a normal year, the drop in activity exceeds 60%. “On the same date we have many more empty reserve books. We don’t know how consumers and customers will react. There is always the risk of being confined or having their vacation canceled, as is the case for a year.” and a half ”, he worries.

The same goes for car rental companies. A few weeks before the start of the high season, Kévin, manager of a small family business, had to find solutions to compensate for the absence of tourists. “In order to balance the accounts, we had to sell vehicles in order to obtain sufficient turnover to cover our expenses,” he explains.

And among the other sectors affected, the cruise industry. In fact, the season has just been canceled in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Before the health crisis, 800 people took the plane each week to come to the island and then board the ocean liners for a dream vacation in the Caribbean.

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