Caribbean: COVID-19 Hurting Tourism Dependent Island Economies

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[COVID-19\Caribbean]
Global Americans: "The IMF is forecasting a 10.3 percent contraction for tourist-dependent economies before a recovery in 2021 of 4.8 percent growth. This has important implications for what the Caribbean is going to look like at the other end of the COVID-19."
Photo: YouTube

Ffryes Beach, Antigua.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major unexpected economic blow for the Caribbean.

In 2019 most of the region had enjoyed continued economic expansion and forecasts for 2020 were promising. COVID-19, which arrived in the Caribbean in March, changed that. With the interruption of tourism and severe global downturn, many Caribbean nations have been forced to scramble to keep their economies afloat; and a number are finding themselves squeezed in terms of their ability to repay their international debt obligations. No doubt 2020 will go down as one of the worst years in memory for the Caribbean.

The IMF is forecasting a 10.3 percent contraction for tourist-dependent economies before a recovery in 2021 of 4.8 percent growth. This has important implications for what the Caribbean is going to look like at the other end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Caribbean holds one of the most open set of economies in the world. Most countries are small, import many of their necessities, and depend on foreign demand to pay their way in the world.

While the export of gold, oil, natural gas, bauxite and nickel play an important role in a handful of economies (Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname), the region is highly dependent on tourism. According to the International Monetary Fund, tourism accounts for 50 to 90 percent of GDP and employment for most Caribbean countries and territories.

Among the Caribbean countries most dependent on the flow of airborne tourists and cruise ships are Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, and Dominica. Tourism also plays a major role in the Cuban economy, especially with the decline of the sugar industry over the past two decades.

For the rest of this story log on to: https://theglobalamericans.org/2020/07/covid-19-the-caribbean-and-what-c...

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