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International Monetary Fund
Tunisia’s reliance on European countries for export earnings, tourism, remittances, and foreign direct investment inflows has remained high over the last decades. Remittances and tourism receipts have been broadly stable in percent of GDP, with somewhat more fluctuations in the latter caused in part by identifiable political events that harmed tourism in the region. Tunisia’s annual growth rate appears to have become increasingly synchronized over time with the annual growth rate of its main European trading partners.
Sanjay Kalra
The paper characterizes trade exposure and regional integration in six ASEAN economies during 1997-2008. For this, the paper uses the 2000 Asian Input Output Tables which are extrapolated using National Income Accounts and COMTRADE data. On the demand side, the paper shows that the level and geographical nature of external exposure varies across the ASEANs, and has changed over time. In particular, there was a shift in the external demand exposure of ASEANs from mature markets, including the United States, to China and ROW. In addition, the share of China in East Asia’s final demand, especially investment, rose sharply while that of Japan fell. On the supply side, the paper documents the rise of China into a “global factory” and the steady shift in regional production and integration from Japan and the United States to China.
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. Serhan Cevik and Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan
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. Mauricio Vargas and Daniela Hess
Using data from 1980-2017, this paper estimates a Global VAR (GVAR) model taylored for the Caribbean region which includes its major trading partners, representing altogether around 60 percent of the global economy. We provide stilyzed facts of the main interrelations between the Caribbean region and the rest of the world, and then we quantify the impact of external shocks on Caribbean countries through the application of two case studies: i) a change in the international price of oil, and ii) an increase in the U.S. GDP. We confirmed that Caribbean countries are highly exposed to external factors, and that a fall in oil prices and an increase in the U.S. GDP have a positive and large impact on most of them after controlling for financial variables, exchange rate fluctuations and overall price changes. The results from the model help to disentangle effects from various channels that interact at the same time, such as flows of tourists, trade of goods, and changes in economic conditions in the largest economies of the globe.
Rafael Romeu
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.