This Selected Issues paper analyzes the competitive threats to the tourism sector in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The paper concludes that the ECCU countries have lost competitiveness globally and vis-à-vis newly emergent Caribbean tourist destinations as a result of both price and nonprice factors. The short-term measures implemented by the countries seem to have been insufficient to prevent further declines in 2002. The paper also describes strengthening fiscal discipline through fiscal benchmarks.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The regional recovery is gaining ground, supported by continued low oil prices, the return to pre-2007 levels of tourism arrivals, and buoyant citizenship-by-investment receipts. Three failed banks have been resolved with no spillovers to the rest of the region and authorities have demonstrated improved fiscal management. Risks in the short run appear to be balanced but the region still faces many vulnerabilities that jeopardize the medium-term outlook. This year's discussions took stock of the progress made and the policies needed to address key vulnerabilities related to the weak banking system, high debt, susceptibility to natural disasters, and competitiveness.