Of paradise in a lot of tourists

Des paradis en mal de touristes

Daniel Slim Agence France-Presse
The economics of small island developing States, like St. Lucia, in the Caribbean, dependent on tourism.

The world tourism Organization (UNWTO) sounds the alarm. The depression in which the tourism sector is plunged since the pandemic will hit hard the small island developing States (SIDS).

These SIDS are home to around 38 islands feeding on the intake of international passengers, of which 16 are in the Caribbean. According to the data of the specialized agency of the united Nations, tourism represents more than 30 % of total exports in most of these destinations, or even 90 % in some of them. “The impact that the COVID-19 has on the sector puts at risk millions of jobs and enterprises, and women (occupying more than half of the jobs affected directly) and informal workers being the most vulnerable,” insisted the OMT.

In 2019, the SIDS have received some 44 million international tourists and the sector has generated us $ 55 billion of export revenue. However, international tourist arrivals fell by 47 % during the first four months of this year, deplores the institution. “Such a major shock translates into a massive loss of jobs and a sharp decline of foreign currency and tax revenues, which limits the ability of public expenditure and the capacity to deploy the necessary measures to support livelihoods during the crisis. “

According to the projections of the united Nations, the SIDS economies could decline by 4.7% in 2020, compared to 3% for the global economy.

47%

It is the fall in international tourist arrivals observed in SIDS.

Pressure on Ottawa

Travel group Sunwing, which is to sun destinations in the South, his specialty, is a signatory of an open letter addressed to the prime minister of Canada, alongside a hundred stakeholders from the airlines, the airports industry and the tourism industry. In an interview with BNN, Bloomberg, the president of the air component Sunwing Airlines, Mark Williams, considers that barriers may be lifted in a safe manner. It refers to corridors with countries who, like us, have mastered the curve of the pandemic and adopted protocols similar to ours.

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“The passengers want to go,” he says, citing the reservations aligned on the capabilities offered by the tour operator the next winter, who are at 65% of the level of the winter of 2019-2020. But in addition to the re-opening targeted markets, “the main challenge remains, for these travelers, the application of the 14 days of quarantine where it is no longer required,” he says.

In this open letter, the actors of the tourism industry to keep the pressure on Ottawa to not be excluded from the stimulus and urging the government to reconsider the restrictions on travel. “We have learned to live with the virus, not to hide from him […]. Now that we reopen the main door of our homes and our businesses, we need to re-open the doors of our provinces, territories of our country. “In their eyes, a number of restrictions still in application, aimed mainly to the closure of the borders to all international visitors, and the obligation of the quarantine, no longer have their reason for being. They want a resumption of ties and alignment with the countries that have already implemented hygiene protocols and biosecurity.

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