(CMR) A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report published on July 1 named Jamaica as one of the top three countries whose GDP was likely to suffer the most from losses in the tourism sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report which analyzes the impact of tourism losses as a result of COVID-19 estimates that Jamaica and Thailand might lose 11% and 9% of GDP respectively
The UNCTAD report estimates the likely economic fallout from the pandemic in three scenarios, all dependent on the time necessary for international tourism to recover – ranging from four to 12 months.
UNCTAD names Jamaica, Thailand, and Croatia as the most impacted even in moderate scenarios which could see international tourism rebounding in six months.
However, the report’s findings are ” unsurprising” as tourism makes up a significant part of the countries listed GDP.
“A similar scenario may be estimated for other SIDS where the tourism sector is a significant contributor, ” read the report.
The report also predicts hardship for low-skilled workers of which the report said women make up the bulk of the grouping.
“Once again, the worst affected countries are Thailand, Jamaica and Croatia. In the most extreme case employment falls 44 per cent in Jamaica if the entire tourism sector is stopped for 12 months,” read the report.
“The case in Jamaica is extreme due to a high share of unskilled workers in its tourism industry, and the contribution of the industry to GDP.
The high unemployment contributes to the significant losses in GDP. It can be expected that other SIDS reliant on tourism may face similar dramatic challenges in the labour market,” added the report.UNCTAD’s director of international trade, Pamela Coke-Hamilton said that despite some markets slowly starting to reopen, things still remain at a standstill.
“For many countries, like the small island developing states, a collapse in tourism means a collapse in their development prospects,” said Coke-Hamilton.UNCTAD estimates that the world’s tourism sector could lose at least $1.2 trillion, or 1.5% of the global GDP.