Shades of blue and warm golden sands are just some of the things that make the Caribbean beaches some of the most sought-after ones in the world. There are countless reasons to go and visit the Caribbean, including the magnificent landscapes, the history and heritage, and the ambiance and cultural expression embedded in the community.
Unfortunately, tourism has declined amidst the global pandemic. Visitors choose to stay home in spite of the fact that numerous states have relaxed the rules. This doesn’t translate into the fact that a trip is impossible. Nonetheless, there will be fewer bookings and more cancellations. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, COVID-19 will lead to a contraction of the tourism sector by 30 percent in 2020.
Caribbean island tourism will have to adjust to fewer visitors
The Caribbean used to draw in tens of millions of visitors since opening its borders for international travel. All that has changed now. The world is dealing with an unprecedented health crisis, so lives are at risk. The fear of contracting the deadly virus is keeping visitors at home. There are doubts concerning safety in crowded, confined spaces, not to mention the unwillingness of some people to respect social distancing and good hygiene.
The absence of holidaymakers to the Caribbean islands doesn’t come as a surprise. Tourism has no choice but to adapt to fewer visitors. Places such as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will undoubtedly see high-end tourists who are capable of respecting self-protection measures. In the context of the global pandemic, it’s paramount to stick to some basic principles of safety. Examples include but aren’t limited to cleaning the hands, wearing a cloth face covering in public, and picking up food at drive-throughs and curbside restaurants.
The global pandemic, which has closed down non-essential businesses is now at the beginning of a recovery phase, what will be required depending on whether or not the practices deviate from the usual operations during the pandemic. There is no way of knowing when consumers will decide they are willing to tolerate the risk of exposure to the virus and start buying and doing things again.
Contribution of travel and tourism to GDP
Fewer tourists mean less income. Travel and tourism have a significant impact on the individual economy, no matter the nation in question. As far as the Caribbean is concerned, tourism is the main source of income. It’s one of the most tourism-dependent regions on the globe, as a matter of fact. The Caribbean has been blessed with a wealth of natural resources, so it’s only natural that tourism is examined as a natural resource. It offers the opportunity for a return on the investment, which is why it’s more developed as compared to other sectors of the economy.
Local businesses are completely dependent on tourists. It’s bad for the people who have just started their businesses because they don’t have bucks put away for the rainy day. A second wave of the coronavirus would translate into the fact that nobody would come to the islands at all. In short, most of the GDP is generated from tourism. People, economy, as well as the future, have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The activity of airports and hotels has been disrupted, there is the issue of soaring unemployment, and it’s impossible to predict when jobs will come back.
Caribbean nations are hoping that people who have spent months in lockdown are longing for a beach vacation. Some, few as they are, are prioritizing going on holiday and venturing to nice getaways. No one can work around the clock and be productive, especially in the current context. It was certainly nice to have downtime, but it wasn’t the vacation everyone desired.
When exactly will the outbreak end and life get back to normal?
Public health interventions for COVID-19 have kept the deadly virus from spreading. Some argue that they haven’t been so effective. Anyway, public health interventions have succeeded in slowing down the coronavirus, which is no little thing given the magnitude of the pandemic. Progress is currently being made in terms of finding a cure, which will enable the world to get back to normal. A great many drugs are being researched, most of them being existing drugs. Biopharma and chemical companies are collaborating with local organizations for healthcare facilities.
Chemistry is against COVID-19. Many in the community are bringing their contribution, trying to discover more about the virus, developing enhanced testing technologies, and eventually creating a vaccine. Those in the race to develop a vaccine have failed. Why? The key to the puzzle is based on understanding chemistry. Or at least a little bit of it. It’s necessary to identify the foreign invader and teach the immune system what the deadly virus looks like. The vaccine contains part of the virus that has lost its ability to replicate and infect another person. Deploying the latest technology and some innovative thinking will lead to a solution.
To sum up, it may be long until the coronavirus will end. Lockdown measures will continue to be eased in the weeks to come, but COVID-19 may not be over. Some say that we may not be able to completely eliminate it, meaning that zero incidences aren’t possible. For the time being, the deadly virus is merely controlled and it’s all thanks to public health measures. Reduction doesn’t mean zero cases, but an acceptable level. Life as we once knew it may never be the same, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Caribbean, as well as other nations, should make an effort to reinvent travel and tourism. Organizing virtual events to display cultural resources is just one example. Something needs to be done for the sake of people. Recreation must be redesigned to prioritize well being instead of profit and ambition. Safety and security are non-negligible aspects of tourism, regardless of the destination, especially now that the world is experiencing dangerous conditions.