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>> This is the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria when it battered Puerto Rico in September of last year. Now, details have begun to emerge on how the 2017 hurricane season, the costliest on record, impacted Caribbean tourism. Correspondent Sarah Peters is in Nassau.>> The Caribbean lost more than $1 billion in tourism revenue in the wake of the 2017 hurricane season.
Interestingly, many countries who were not directly impacted by the hurricane were, nevertheless, impacted economically.>> That's because images of toppled trees and torn off roofs contributed to the perception that the entire region had suffered, causing travelers to look for other vacation spots.>> Tourism is the Caribbean's greatest driver of foreign exchange and tax revenue.
In fact, the region's tourism performance has been improving, or had been improving, for the past six consecutive years.>> Now, as some of the islands continue to rebuild after the devastating storms, the Caribbean Tourism Organization estimates recovery efforts for the region could cost nearly $6 billion.