While medical professionals continue to grapple with the ever-increasing health impact of the coronavirus pandemic, experts are also predicting significant socio-economic and financial declines in the regional travel and tourism industries.
Speaking with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) on Tuesday, regional vice president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Peter Cerda, shared figures that paint a grim picture of the Caribbean’s future, were the pandemic to continue for a sustained period of time.
“We’re talking about – in terms of the Caribbean – the impact in GDP is roughly about $740 million. It’s our estimate and these are estimates that we based on if the crisis continues through the second quarter. If the crisis continues beyond that, then obviously these numbers will be different.
“We have 23,000 jobs that are at risk as well, but aviation is not the only equation in this, we’re just part of the equation. If you look at the [wider] impact, the entire travel and tourism sector, it’s actually devastating. There, the numbers actually increase to $6.45 billion and we put 355,000 jobs at risk when we talk about hotels, restaurants, tour operators, agencies and so on,” he explained.
SOURCE [Antigua Observer]