The shooting of a British couple on honeymoon in Antigua has prompted some customers to cancel their holidays to the island – but agents remain hopeful the fallout will be short-lived.
Agents have said a number of holidaymakers about to travel to Antigua have, or are considering, changing their destination or cancelling their trip following the death of 31-year-old doctor Catherine Mullany from South Wales.
In what has been reported as a “robbery gone wrong,” thieves broke into the couple’s cottage at the Cocos Hotel at 5am on Sunday. Mullany’s husband Ben was in a critical condition in hospital as Travel Weekly went to press.
Banana Travel owner Neil Henderson said three clients had changed their plans, choosing other islands such as Cuba and Barbados.
He said: “I have been to Antigua many times and we always recommend Cocos Hotel so this is very sad. People react quickly when something happens -in a couple of months hopefully it will blow over.”
Perfect Weddings Abroad marketing director Danny Waine also said customers had been contacting the agency with concerns about Antigua. “Some will probably end up changing their plans, but we are advising people to think it over for a couple of weeks.”
The trade is urging customers to maintain a sense of perspective over the incident. Howard Travel weddings specialist Gill Hartigan said: “People have to be vigilant everywhere they go. This is a very unusual case and we are reassuring customers Antigua is still a safe island.”
Other agents called for a review of security in the Caribbean. Edwin Doran’s Travel World retail manager Rosie Doran said: “Tour operators should be aware of the security situation at all their hotels, especially when some rooms are isolated from the rest of the hotel.”