Grim UN report underscores need to safely reopen tourism sector — Bartlett

Latest News

Grim UN report underscores need to safely reopen tourism sector — Bartlett

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett says that a report published yesterday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development outlining the projected fallout for the global economy and in particular countries like Jamaica, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism, further underscores the need to restore the sector by reopening on a phased basis and in a safe manner.

The report outlined that the “world's tourism sector could lose at least US$1.2 trillion or 1.5 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP), having been placed at a standstill for nearly four months due to the coronavirus pandemic”. It further indicated that “the loss could rise to US$2.2 trillion or 2.8 per cent of the world's GDP if the break in international tourism lasts for eight months, in line with the expected decline in tourism as projected by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)”.

The report also listed Jamaica as the country which stands to suffer the greatest economic fallout, with an estimated decline of 11 per cent of GDP, ahead of Thailand (-9 per cent), Croatia (-8 per cent), Portugal (-6 per cent) and the Dominican Republic (-5 per cent), to name a few.

The minister said: “As I recently indicated in Parliament, restoring our tourism sector is a matter of economic life and death. The reality is that Jamaica's economy is dependent on the tourism industry. It contributes 50 per cent of the foreign exchange earnings of the economy and generates 354,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.”

“Sadly, most of our tourism workers have been displaced due to the pandemic. So the UNCTAD report underscores the fact that we have to restore the sector as quickly as possible to reverse the impact of COVID-19 on the country's GDP,” he added.

The minister said the report comes against the background of the Government's own projections that Jamaica is expected to lose J$146 billion from April 2020 to March 2021, due to the downturn in tourism caused by COVID-19.

“The month of July, which promises to show the strongest surge of recovery, must be managed well and the new protocols that we have introduced are designed to enable a more seamless entry of Jamaicans and visitors alike,” the minister said.

He noted that the appointment of a new Resilient Corridor management team, led by John Byles, further underpins the surveillance and compliance of entities along the corridor and is an added step to continue to safeguard the health and well-being of Jamaicans.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon