Like others around the world, Canadians are doing their part to help humanitarian efforts in Haiti, which was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12.
Meanwhile, Canadians who had vacations booked to the region, mainly the neighbouring country of the Dominican Republic, are struggling over whether or not they should go through with their plans or cancel, even if it means losing the money they laid down for the trip.
This is without question a difficult decision. Some are even worrying about the safety of the region, especially after a 6.1-magnitude aftershock hit Haiti on Wednesday, just over a week after the first earthquake.
Even though the Dominican Republic was untouched by the disaster, which was focused mainly on the Port-au-Prince area of Haiti, the idea of relaxing on a sunny beach is not quite as appealing when you know people are suffering only a few hundred kilometres away on the same island. It would have been hard enough before the earthquake, knowing of the poverty and starving in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, although it has not deterred Canadians from making the Dominican one of the top travel destinations.
However, from a recovery point of view, Haiti will need more than the humanitarian aid being poured into disaster relief right now. The revenue generated from tourist stops will be needed for that long-term recovery. Even tourism in the Dominican can indirectly help Haiti, by making it stronger and more capable of helping its neighbour.
By canceling your trip, you could be causing more economic hardship on an area that needs our help.