Caribbean
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Carib - Is the lure of the beach enough?

Sometime in the next 12 months, when the pandemic is fully brought under control in North America and Europe, visitors will return to the Caribbean in significant numbers. Once that begins to happen, governments, conscious of tourism’s ability to drive rapid GDP growth, will encourage the fastest possible restoration of pre-pandemic arrival levels.

Sometime in the next 12 months, when the pandemic is fully brought under control in North America and Europe, visitors will return to the Caribbean in significant numbers. Once that begins to happen, governments, conscious of tourism’s ability to drive rapid GDP growth, will encourage the fastest possible restoration of pre-pandemic arrival levels.

This is understandable, but begs two seemingly perverse questions: Is the basic Caribbean tourism product of sun, sand, and sea, sustainable and can the region remain competitive once present pent-up global demand is sated?

Unlike most Caribbean industries, tourism has grown in a haphazard unintegrated manner, powering its way from the 1990s on, to dominate much of the Caribbean economy. This happened as arrangements for agriculture and commodities were attenuating, disposable income was growing rapidly in North America and Europe, and governments were happy to regard tourism as an alternative, seemingly limitless way to rapidly generate economic growth.

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