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Caribbean’s biggest tourism source markets projected for $20 billion in travel losses

#Caribbean – March 10, 2020 — Travel demand is likely to drop ten percent among North Americans due to fears from the contagion, COVID-19 and for the tourism dependent Caribbean could present an economic downturn if spread is not stabilized.

The International Air Transport Association, IATA represents 290 airlines or 82 percent of global air traffic and its second report was released last Thursday.

“Many airlines are cutting capacity and taking emergency measures to reduce costs. Governments must take note. Airlines are doing their best to stay afloat as they perform the vital task of linking the world’s economies. As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief on taxes, charges and slot allocation. These are extraordinary times,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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The media release on the financial impact of COVID-19 was publicized on March 5 and while the Caribbean region is not specifically listed, its biggest tourism and trade market is on the lower end of the spectrum.

The United States and Canada are charted with a ten percent loss in travel demand; that equates to just over $21 billion in projected losses.

Leading in this negative trend downward are these European countries: Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, which are expected to cumulatively record a 24 percent plummet or a $37.3 billion dollar projected loss.

“The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. It is unclear how the virus will develop, but whether we see the impact contained to a few markets and a $63 billion revenue loss, or a broader impact leading to a $113 billion loss of revenue, this is a crisis.”

The comments are from the IATA assessment which also explained financial markets are now anticipating a large fall in airline profits globally and a drop in oil prices is poised to offset the impact of coronavirus, but not right away.

It is estimated the savings on fuel will amount to $28 billion dollars in 2020.

The Caribbean is not charted by IATA in this recent report because there are less than ten cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region.

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