Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Aleksandra Babii, Mr. Serhan Cevik, Stella Kaendera, Mr. Dirk V Muir, Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
This departmental paper analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, and Caribbean countries. Many tourism dependent economies in these regions, including small states in the Pacific and the Caribbean, entered the pandemic with limited fiscal space, inadequate external buffers, and foreign exchange revenues extremely concentrated in tourism. The empirical analysis leverages on an augmented gravity model to draw lessons from past epidemics and finds that the impact of infectious diseases on tourism flows is much greater in developing countries than in advanced economies.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Jamaica’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The Jamaican authorities have proactively responded to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Nevertheless, despite the authorities’ best efforts, the pandemic is severely impacting the Jamaican economy, as a sudden stop in tourism and falling remittances are generating a sizable balance-of-payments need. Moreover, the economic outlook remains subject to an unusually high degree of uncertainty. The disbursement under the RFI will strengthen reserves and help catalyze additional support from other international financial institutions and development partners. The authorities’ policy response to the COVID-19 crisis is appropriate, including the timely adoption of targeted measures to support jobs and provide resources to vulnerable segments of the population. Once the crisis abates, building on their demonstrated commitment to reform and stability-oriented measures, the authorities should continue the implementation of their ambitious reform agenda to support the economic recovery and ensure strong and sustainable economic growth.