Caribbean countries urged to take advantage of current tourism upswing

Published on : Friday, April 29, 2016

Caribbean due to rotten seaweed stenchTourism economies like The Bahamas use what the fund deems a “tourism upswing” to push through structural measures that would ensure that tourists get value for money from high-end destinations, recommends the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its published Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere.

 
The April 2016 Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere has been prepared by a team led by Hamid Faruqee and S. Pelin Berkmen. It reports that economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean has been hard hit and is likely to contract for the second consecutive year in 2016.

 
According to the report, the protracted period of low commodity prices continues to be favourable for the tourism-based countries in the Caribbean.

 
Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) records show arrivals to The Bahamas grew by just under five percent from 2014 to 2015, while Barbados grew by around 15 percent, almost three times the regional average.

 
“Growth prospects continue to be favourable for the tourism-based economies. Tourist arrivals have been on the rise since early 2015 in most countries, led by Barbados, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. These inflows are expected to continue and possibly expand as economic activity in the origin countries gradually gains strength,” the report said.

 

In contrast, the IMF said growth prospects are deteriorating for commodity-based economies.

 
The authors advise tourism-based economies to take advantage of the current tourism upswing to push through structural measures that would improve the quality of the tourism product while lowering costs.

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