On a clear June day, when the visibility is just right, you can spot the dive boats off the coast of St. Thomas. In these waters, there’s no shortage of stunning coral reefs teeming with turtles…but where are the boatloads of tourists? Like so many other destinations, the U.S. Virgin Islands are still recovering from a devastating 2017 hurricane season. With many hotels still closed, tour operators are feeling the impact—and learning from the experience.
If your tour operator business is situated in a hurricane-prone region, here are a few tips to help plan for the next season ahead and mitigate your losses.
FIND YOUR EBB AND FLOW
Even the experts can’t always predict where the hurricane eye will pass. What we do know for sure is that for six months out of the year, there’s always that risk. Why not consider building your excursions with the hurricane season in mind? In December, you can add more tour offerings to your lineup, hire more staff, and boost your resources. Then come June, begin limiting some of your tour experiences. When you plan ahead in this way, you reduce your liability and it won’t be as hard to recalibrate during the off-season.
EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS
When worrying about how to keep your business afloat, the last thing on your mind is growing your business. But what if you had operated your tour operator business in two different locations, ideally on two different islands? Your chances of escaping the wrath just increased. And, if one destination happens to fall in the cone, it’s much easier to relocate your resources.
BOOST YOUR CRUISE LINE BUSINESS
While it’s true that some cruise lines re-routed their voyages, land resorts in some destinations are taking much longer to bounce back. This summer, cruise passengers may be your best bet for new business. But what insurance do tour operators need to tap into this lucrative market? Excursion insurance exempts the cruise line from being held responsible for any injuries, property damage or loss experienced by passengers while on a tour. And, cruise lines will only work with tour companies who have the right insurance coverage in place.
Lastly, don’t let hurricane season scare you into relocating your business. Risk can happen anytime, in any part of the world. With the right attitude—and proper tour operator liability insurance—you’ll be better prepared to weather any storm.