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VI among island nations expected to be hardest hit by global pandemic

- according to World Travel & Tourism Council
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WT&TC), the representative body for the global travel and tourism industry, the Virgin Islands is among the island nations that rely on tourist dollars expected to be the hardest hit as government restrictions designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic keep billions of people at home, bringing international travel and tourism to a standstill. Photo: VINO/File
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport: The global coronavirus shutdown is affecting everything from small businesses to large companies, including major airlines and cruise lines, some of whom have had to shed jobs and seek government bailouts in order to survive. Photo: VINO/File
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport: The global coronavirus shutdown is affecting everything from small businesses to large companies, including major airlines and cruise lines, some of whom have had to shed jobs and seek government bailouts in order to survive. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While the Virgin Islands usually ranks among the top travel and tourism destination in the world, it is now facing a tourism projection that it would prefer does not to come to reality.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WT&TC), the representative body for the global travel and tourism industry, the Virgin Islands is among the island nations that rely on tourist dollars expected to be the hardest hit as government restrictions designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic keep billions of people at home, bringing international travel and tourism to a standstill.

The other Caribbean island nations facing a "catastrophe", according to WT&TC, include Aruba, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia.

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The shutdown is affecting everything from small businesses to large companies, including major airlines and cruise lines, some of whom have had to shed jobs and seek government bailouts in order to survive.

Travel and tourism accounts for some 10% of global GDP and one in 10 jobs, according to the WT&TC, as many as a third of these jobs, or more than 100 million positions, and some $2.7 trillion in GDP could be at risk as a result of the current crisis.

Meanwhile, CNN reported on May 13, 2020, that, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, countries that rely most heavily on tourist dollars will be hardest hit. A 25% decline in tourism income will knock on average 7% off GDP among "small island developing states," a contraction that could go as deep as 16% in places such as the Maldives and Seychelles.

The situation, according to CNN, is also dire in Europe, which boasts half the world's international tourist arrivals. “The European Parliament estimates that the bloc's tourism industry is losing around €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in revenue per month, a devastating blow to the 27 million EU workers whose jobs are connected to the sector.”

Kickstarting tourism, while crucial for the global economy, will be especially complex. Reopening businesses and restarting factories is proving hard enough, but the return of travel will require an easing of border controls, international cooperation and, most crucially, travellers themselves.

Safe travel guidelines

Meanwhile, the World Travel and Tourism Council has unveiled its list of protocols, dubbed the ‘Safe Travel protocols’, to help restart the hospitality industry and ready it for future crises.

Key measures include:

•      Revisit guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the hotel with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points, such as room key cards

•      Ensure social distancing for guests through signage and guidelines including lifts

•      Retrain staff in infection control, social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, including hand washing and the use of masks and gloves

•      All extraneous items should be removed throughout the hotel

•      Integrate technologies to enable automation, such as introducing contactless payments where possible

•      Offer room service using no-contact delivery methods

•      Have clear, consistent and enhanced communication with customers on new health and hygiene safety protocols, both digitally and physically at hotels

•      Safe reopening of F&B outlets and meeting and events spaces with specific actions to ensure social distancing, disinfection and food safety

Measures have been drafted with health and safety at the forefront while also leveraging guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make informed decisions.

According to the latest figures from WTTC, the travel and tourism sector is responsible for one in 10 jobs – 330 million total, making it a 10.3% contribution to the world’s GDP. Right now, 100 million of these jobs are at risk.

22 Responses to “VI among island nations expected to be hardest hit by global pandemic”

  • Norris Turnbull (14/05/2020, 11:21) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Time will tell
  • hmmmmmm (14/05/2020, 11:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The travel and tourism business getting expensive. Airlines now saying they will keep middle seat empty - no full flights anymore and hospital like sanitization among other works that will incur costs.

    For those that travel or must travel, limit the number of times have to travel and consolidate all travel-related activities around a single time period - if have to go overseas for business and healthcare why not do in a single trip.

    The contraction of the tourism industry has knock on effects elsewhere in both the private and public sectors. Consumer spending keeps an economy going. If one does not have money to spend then ....
  • FACTS MATTER (14/05/2020, 11:58) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tourism in the BVI is not 92% of GDP as per CNN graph. I guess they are fake news!
    • True (14/05/2020, 13:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      this is the money that flows throw the entire country not money going the government, so where else is the economy and please don't sat FS as their money goes to Government.
  • over night guest (14/05/2020, 12:33) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    we need to go back to overnight guest and leave the cruise passengers for a while: overnight clients spend more money because they usually spend 7 days the cruise pax spends a few hours but the head tax is good and some tour operates do relatively Well: we need to exploit our sea water more help our people’s get better fishing vessels so they can spend longer time at sea with the ability to store they catch then come ashore: stop relying on others for sustainability: farming is good and I know times have changed but we had a BVI long before tourism....jah guide
    • tru (14/05/2020, 13:58) Like (2) Dislike (16) Reply
      We need a high profile Casino in Tortola or Jost Van Dyke. An investor with big bucks. It will be a tourist attraction... people will travel for to see it including celebrities. Guest appearances etc.

      I can see it now!
    • You're right (14/05/2020, 18:53) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      And what's more, the inundation of low-end cruise tourists is chasing away the higher-spending land and charter boat guests.
  • Guest (14/05/2020, 12:50) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Saw fake news CNN post this the other day. yes we will be hit hard but it is not 92 percent of our GDP. But consider the source posting it... fake news CNN....smdh
    • @guest (14/05/2020, 14:17) Like (0) Dislike (10) Reply
      Dont bring Donald (Phrump?) Trump. Oops, even his name is FAKE.
      • Ugh (14/05/2020, 17:17) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        But it’s drumpf though... Cnn is fake news and your comment fake too... oops
  • My My (14/05/2020, 13:02) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply

    The VI* has no plans

  • facts (14/05/2020, 13:58) Like (3) Dislike (9) Reply
    Only the vip can take us out of this mess
  • The plandemic (14/05/2020, 15:48) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Plan demic
  • Big Slick Willie (14/05/2020, 17:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No s&@t. Nothing is produced here but a bit of rum. Cruise ships will be back. If you can, I highly recommend cruise line stock. Cruisers love their cruises. They are already putting prevention in place and will return in a few months. BVI government will need to put prevention (recent health cards, temperature checks at disembarking seaport/airport, ensuring masks are used, erc) to prevent the return of Huwan here. Stay positive but create other income option in the short haul.
  • We’re all screwed (14/05/2020, 20:34) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    No tourism for a few years. Even one Covid related occurrence will shut it down completely. Only really desperate, cheap & stupid tourists would risk coming here. What have we got? 6 ICUs & ventilators? What a joke. Wake up folks. UK ain’t gonna save you either. They just want rid of you, that’s why they sent us an incompetent racist Babyface Governor and his cronie ex-RDA Head all the way from NZ at our expense.......!! Millions spent on them and their families just to live and impose on us... at least RDA one has finally left.
    • lodger (14/05/2020, 21:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      You would not say that to his face. What do you know about the governors responsibilities? Have you ever met him?
  • E.Leonard (15/05/2020, 00:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI may be a resource-poor locale with a high trade deficit, vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and a heavily dependent travel and tourism destination. And travel and tourism contribute significantly to employment. Nonetheless, skeptical about travel and tourism contributing 92% to GDP. Though the 92% contribution to GDP may be too high, the travel and tourism dependence on this one sector is too high and poses impactful economic risk. A stumble in this one sector may cause the economy to tumble. This is clearly demonstrated by Coronavirus bringing tourism to a sudden, grinding halt, adversely impacting many lives and livelihoods. Other things that can shutdown the sector include crime, epidemic, recessions in advanced countries.....etc. The long-term strategic plan should be to develop and construct a structurally sound diversified economy, ie, exploring the blue economy, developing a knowledge-based economy, promoting more agricultural production.......etc.
  • more to come (15/05/2020, 03:31) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Your also looking at political unrest and a risk of civil war in America. You think Trump is going to leave the whitehouse if he loses the election? Add high unemployment, radical gun owners and an already heavily divided country and Houston we have a problem. Things will get worse and then worse again.
  • Interested (15/05/2020, 05:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    No need to curse the Governor . He goes, another one comes who might be worse. Live with it
  • New airport (15/05/2020, 05:58) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am glad we did not build a new airport ! The country would have been BROKE ! No way to repay the loan !
  • Mr Shhh (20/05/2020, 16:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just don't let outsiders know thru BVI entities about some of the really nasty things that have gone on.
    Like with the police or certain locals with behaviour problems taking them out on foreigners. After all
    the BVI now depends mostly on tourism and outsiders money. We can't be letting them know what goes
    on that doesn't make it into the big news media. RIGHT?


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