According to data from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the abrupt closure of borders and businesses between last March and May, caused the loss of just over $ 8 billion and more than a million jobs in the sector. (Archive)
Apart from the constant challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean has received an exponential impact due to the paralysis of tourist activity, the main source of income for the region and which in some territories accounts for more than 50% of its economy.
According to data from the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the abrupt closure of borders, businesses and social activities in general, between mid-March and last May, caused the loss of just over $ 8,000 million and more than a million jobs in the sector.
However, there are promising signs related to consumer spending, including the worst affected sectors such as tourism. For nations that are beginning to reactivate their travel spending, having a promise of health and safety in the international destination of their choice has become indispensable, as points out the study Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In, by Mastercard, second report of its category presented by the credit card company, focused on the impacts of the pandemic, which includes emerging trends in tourism.
This analysis of anonymous sales activity across the Mastercard network, including in-person and online transactions, shows that Italy, Russia and France are leading the revival in travel and entertainment spending among all nations in the world. G20. This includes travel sectors such as airlines, accommodation and in detailed destinations, where the Caribbean is pointed as one of the favorite destinations for tourists.
For Jamaica, undoubtedly the greater attraction of this international market to its “Safe Corridors” or “Resilient Corridors” would mean a recovery with great impact. These spaces were created to promote safe tourism practices, ensuring the protection of locals and visitors alike, through the strict provision of services that conform to a rigorous set of protocols against COVID-19 and approved by the Council. World Travel and Tourism (WTTC). Only companies within the Corridor that have been trained and evaluated to comply with the COVID-19 protocols can open to tourists.
For its part, Puerto Rico continues its goal of becoming the role model in relation to safety standards for tourist destinations. Mastercard reported, through a press release, that although the Puerto Rico Tourism Company estimates a recovery similar to the stability of the island in 2019 until 2023, the island has adapted the new rules of social distancing, cleaning, disinfection and hygiene designed on a program to ensure the highest safety standards in all industry sectors.
Mastercard is committed to helping businesses, restaurants, consumer brands, among many others, navigate the challenges of the pandemic, now in recovery. This has included making certain information-driven tools available to governments and small businesses at no cost to provide a timely picture of economic performance during this time.
Thus, Mastercard continues its work to promote the gradual growth of tourism, together with the image of the country, under the conviction that, together with the Caribbean nations, we will be able to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and ensure that the islands continue to occupy the first place in the region as a preferred destination for foreign visitors, whether for vacationing, doing business, investing or as a favorite place for a second residence.