While the world’s attention is on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change remains a greater existential threat to vulnerable countries that are highly dependent on a weather-sensitive sector like tourism. Using a novel multidimensional index, this study investigates the long-term impact of climate change vulnerability on international tourism in a panel of 15 Caribbean countries over the period 1995–2017. Empirical results show that climate vulnerability already has a statistically and economically significant negative effect on international tourism revenues across the region. As extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe over time, our findings indicate that the Caribbean countries need to pursue comprehensive adaptation policies to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Lu Han, Miss Marie S Kim, and Ms. Nicole Laframboise
This paper studies the role of airlift supply on the tourism sector in the Caribbean. The
paper examines the relative importance of U.S.-Caribbean airlift supply factors such as the
number of flights, seats, airlines, and departure cities on U.S. tourist arrivals. The possible
endogeneity problem between airlift supply and tourist arrivals is addressed by using a
structural panel VAR and individual country VARs. Among the four airlift supply
measures, increasing the number of flights is found to be the most effective way to boost
tourist arrivals on a sustained basis. As a case study, the possible crowding effect of
increasing the number of U.S. flights to Cuba is investigated and, based on past
observations, we find no significant impact on flights to other Caribbean countries. The
impact of natural disasters on airlift supply and tourist arrivals is also quantified.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international
macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21
country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for
not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through thirdmarkets.
We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous
variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions crosssectionally,
to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy
and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in
the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India,
Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to
an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El
Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample
experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices
increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into
consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
An opening of Cuba to U.S. tourism would represent a seismic shift in the Caribbean's tourism industry. This study models the impact of such a potential opening by estimating a counterfactual that captures the current bilateral restriction on tourism between the two countries. After controlling for natural disasters, trade agreements, and other factors, the results show that a hypothetical liberalization of Cuba-U.S. tourism would increase long-term regional arrivals. Neighboring destinations would lose the implicit protection the current restriction affords them, and Cuba would gain market share, but this would be partially offset in the short-run by the redistribution of non-U.S. tourists currently in Cuba. The results also suggest that Caribbean countries have in general not lowered their dependency on U.S. tourists, leaving them vulnerable to this potential change.