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Ding Ding and Mr. Yannick Timmer
We estimate a variety of exchange rate elasticities of international tourism. We show that, in addition to the bilateral exchange rate between the tourism origin and destination countries, the exchange rate vis-à-vis the US dollar is also an important driver of tourism flows and pricing. The effect of US dollar pricing is stronger for tourism destination countries with higher dollar borrowing, indicating a complementarity between dominant currency pricing and financing. Country-specific dominant currencies (CSDCs) play only a minor role for the average country, but are important for tourism-dependent countries and those with a high concentration of tourists. The importance of the dollar exchange rate represents a strong piece of evidence of dominant currency pricing (DCP) in the international trade of services and suggests that the benefits of exchange rate flexibility for tourism-dependent countries may be weaker than previously thought.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Fiji has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic—with infection rates at one point among the highest in the world. Despite swift action by the government to close borders, protect the population, and mitigate the worst economic effects, the economic contraction was the worst in Fiji’s history. The crisis has come at a heavy social cost, including large-scale layoffs, surging unemployment, and high non-performing loans. Multilateral and bilateral support has been critical in helping Fiji weather the worst of the crisis and has facilitated a strong government response—including rapid acceleration of the government vaccination program underpinning Fiji’s reopening to international tourism.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

1. After keeping COVID-19 at bay for a full year, an outbreak of the COVID Delta variant emerged in Fiji in April 2021. While the outbreak was largely confined to one island, infection rates were at one point among the highest in the world. Contributions of AstraZeneca vaccine from Australia and New Zealand enabled an aggressive vaccination campaign. As of mid-October, more than 95 percent of eligible Fijians (those over 18) had received their first dose and 80 percent were fully vaccinated. Passing these milestones, the government announced an easing of local curfew and business restrictions. The government has also announced that Fiji’s borders will be reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from a select group of countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the U.S., UK, Japan, and other Pacific Islands.