A lot can happen in a year—but 2017 was particularly eventful when it came to how we travel the world.
The threats that loomed largest in 2016, Zika and the migrant crisis, faded into the rear-view mirror as talk of a United States travel ban and Brexit suddenly dominated global headlines. And that was just the beginning.
Basically, Mother Nature rewrote the travel map in the last 12 months.
Three hurricanes of extraordinary strength crashed into Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico this year; the effects of Harvey, Irma, and Maria continue in nearly every place that they were felt. Parts of the Caribbean have been written off the tourist map until at least late 2018, including St. Barth (the island’s villas are back online, but hotels will need the year to rebuild) and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are showing slightly quicker signs of recovery.
Almost simultaneously with the storms, wildfires swept the West Coast in two bursts, one across California’s wine country and another in the greater Los Angeles area.
The natural disasters have set travelers on hunts for new places to cure their winter doldrums: Trending warm-weather alternatives include New Zealand, Bermuda, and Mexico’s Riviera Maya and Los Cabos.
But remember that trips to recovering areas provide much-needed tourism dollars that are crucial to restoration efforts.
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