Caribbean tourism recovers faster than any other region in the world

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Caribbean tourism recovers faster than any other region in the world
Source: WTTC
October 21, 2021

With the right measures, tourism jobs could exceed 2019 levels next year

The Caribbean travel and tourism sector is recovering at a faster rate than any other region in the world, with its contribution to GDP expected to grow more than 47% this year, compared to just 30.7% at the level. worldwide, reveals new research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
WTTC, which represents the global private travel and tourism sector, says the sector's recovery globally has been hampered by a lack of international coordination, severe travel restrictions and slower vaccination rates. 
However, the Caribbean is now benefiting from looser restrictions around the world and low infection rates, which in turn is boosting spending on international travel and helping the region's rapid economic recovery.
While the global economy is forecast to receive a modest 30.7% year-on-year increase in travel and tourism in 2021, representing $ 1.4 trillion and driven primarily by domestic spending, the Caribbean region can expect a 47.3% year-on-year increase. , representing an increase of almost USD 12 billion, driven by spending on domestic and international travel. 
However, although the Caribbean is recovering faster than other regions, it is still below its performance in 2019, a record year for the sector, where Travel & Tourism represented more than 14% of the region's GDP, contributing more than USD 58 billion to its economy. 
The research also reveals that, at the current rate of recovery, Travel & Tourism's contribution to the Caribbean economy could see a further 28.7% year-on-year increase in 2022, representing an increase of USD 10 billion.  
The data reveal that the growth of domestic spending will be stronger than international in all regions except the Caribbean, and at the current rate of recovery, spending by international visitors in the region could experience a year-on-year increase of 61.7 % in 2021. ahead of national spending, which could experience an increase of 52.6%.
Next year, international spending may continue to rise with a new year-on-year jump of 43.1%, and domestic spending will also increase by 13.6%.
Last year, a year in which harmful travel restrictions halted much of international travel, 680,000 Travel & Tourism jobs were lost in the popular vacation region, equivalent to nearly a quarter of all jobs in the region. sector.
However, this year, research reveals an expected 12% increase in jobs (compared to a meager 0.7% globally), with a similar potential annual increase in jobs across the sector next year, in 11.5% positive.

Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC said: “Our research clearly shows that while the global travel and tourism sector is slowly beginning to recover from the ravages of COVID-19, the Caribbean is recovering much faster than any other region. . 

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic stole almost a quarter of all travel and tourism jobs in the region, but due to a significant increase in domestic and international spending, both jobs and GDP are increasing. 

According to the research, the sector's contribution to the region's GDP and job growth could be more positive this year and next, if governments around the world comply with four vital measures.
These measures include allowing fully vaccinated travelers to move freely regardless of their origin or final destination and implementing digital solutions that allow all travelers to easily demonstrate their COVID status, in turn speeding up the process at the borders of all the world.
Initiatives also include recognition of all vaccines authorized by WHO and / or SRA, and agreement by all relevant authorities that international travel is safe with improved health and safety protocols, as well as vaccine equity. to ensure that no region is left behind. 

The future could be brighter for the Caribbean
Research shows that if these five vital rules are followed before the end of 2021, the impact on the economy and employment could be considerable.  
According to the research, the sector's contribution to the economy could increase by 51.3% this year (almost USD 13 billion), and a new year-on-year increase next year of 36.9% (almost USD 14 billion).
This, in turn, could have a positive effect on employment, with a 15% increase in jobs this year, and a year-on-year increase next year from 18.6% to more than 2.8 million, plus 75,000 more jobs than in 2019 when Travel & Tourism was at its peak.
Several travel and tourism companies in the Caribbean introduced new measures and improved health and safety protocols at the beginning of the pandemic to reassure travelers, and research suggests that these measures are helping travelers return to the region.

Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts, said: “Trust and confidence are what drive visitor arrivals and are the key to our economies prospering in our region. 

“At Sandals, we attribute our rebound across the Caribbean in large part to the 'Sandals Platinum Cleaning Protocols', which we introduced early in partnership with the CDC, WHO and local Ministries of Health in the countries where we operate. These enhanced measures are based on a comprehensive assessment of all guest touch points, resulting in the integration of advanced hygiene practices at eighteen key touch points, from airport arrival to departure. 

"Our recently announced Sandals Vacation Assurance program is a continuation of this effort to build trust and confidence."


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