Heartland travel agents react to Caribbean earthquake

Updated: Jan. 28, 2020 at 11:29 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Heartland travel agents reacted to an earthquake in the Caribbean.

Thousands of people felt a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast Jamaica Tuesday.

So far no damage has been found at places like the international airport in Montego Bay.

Local travel agents said that is good news for tourism to the Caribbean because the area is still recovering from other natural disasters.

“We have people who are actually traveling to Puerto Rico tomorrow and they actually had their earthquake a few weeks ago. So travel is never stopping or ceasing,” said Bethany Byrd a travel agent at Dream Vacations.

“Currently inspectors are out and they’re inspecting infrastructure, but the airport is open right now they have not delayed, any flights. Flights are still landing, ” said Shannon Thompson, sales manager at Elite Travel.

The threat for a tsunami was low which was fortunate for a Royal Caribbean cruise ship near the epicenter.

“They just pulled anchor. Everything is safe. The ship safe, everybody on board is safe. There have not been any itinerary changes as of this moment,” said Thompson.

During any scare travel agents also call their clients and relay any information to their emergency contacts.

“We find out how our guest is doing, what is happening, what the issue is and we would be able to communicate that to the loved one here or the family members here to set their mind at ease as well,” said Thompson

Travel agents say Caribbean countries heavily rely on tourism dollars, and say the earthquake should not deter you from booking a trip.

“So if one person decides they’re not going and says something about it on social media than the next person doesn’t want to go and it’s a snowball effect, and those people and those countries feel that. Everything that we do as travelers they depend on it, ”said Byrd

Both agents said if something does go wrong and you need to rearrange your trip, the best fail safe is to have travel insurance.

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