While water and electricity on the small island of Caye Caulker seems to have been normalized, business owners are still in the process of tallying their revenue loss, which the Reporter was told exceeds over two million dollars in losses, and continues to multiply as more visitors cancel their vacation packages to the island.
Over the Christmas holidays should have been the launch of the tourism high season but all that crumbled when residents experienced five days of water and electricity shortages. The phenomenon forced visitors to cancel their reservations and vacate the small island causing a major uproar among business owners and residents.
To put a figure on how much revenue loss the island endured during the phenomenon the Caye Caulker Business Association (CCBA) launched a small survey targetting 22 out of the 650 businesses on the island. In that Questionnaire, business owners were asked to list their losses endured during the five days of power and water outages. The result of that survey revealed that each business lost approximately $4,000 each.
This week the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Yashin Dujon told the Reporter that while there have been multiple reports of cancellations and walk out due to the power and water outages it is too soon to put a figure on the direct loss of businesses. However, the ministry is currently looking at cancellations, damaged electrical equipment, and losses in refrigerated goods.
Residents of the island described the outages as a “chronic episode” and one which was also foretold by the ministry. Dujon explained that even before last week’s prolonged outages the ministry had raised concern regarding the rising challenges in the country’s national grid and water supply due to climate change, and while the situation seems to have been mended the ministry is still very concerned that there may be further failures.
When the Reporter asked about measures in place to assist residents or business owners that got affected Dujon confirmed that there are none in place. Instead, he is asking residents and business owners to attend a Renewable Energy Workshop on January 13th and 14th, for them to explore other forms of energy, in particular, renewable energy.The Reporter