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.
Alberto Cavallo, Ms. Prachi Mishra, Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo, Joel Alcedo, and Bricklin Dwyer
We study e-commerce across 47 economies and 26 industries during the COVID-19 pandemic using aggregated and anonymized transaction-level data from Mastercard, scaled to represent total consumer spending. The share of online transactions in total consumption increased more in economies with higher pre-pandemic e-commerce shares, exacerbating the digital divide across economies. Overall, the latest data suggest that these spikes in online spending shares are dissipating at the aggregate level, though there is variation across industries. In particular, the share of online spending in professional services and recreation has fallen below its pre-pandemic trend, but we observe a longer-lasting shift to digital in retail and restaurants.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2021 Article IV Consultation discusses that the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and related containment measures have severely affected the economy in the Republic of Palau. The economic contraction is estimated to have deepened in FY2021, and a gradual recovery is expected in FY2022 as tourism activities resume. While Palau’s public debt remains sustainable, the economic fallout of the pandemic and the cost of the fiscal response have led to a sharp deterioration of the fiscal position and a rapid increase in public debt. The high share of concessional loans from multilateral creditors in Palau’s external debt is an important risk-mitigating factor. Palau is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Economic policies should focus on supporting the recovery, rebuilding fiscal resilience, and supporting sustainable growth post pandemic. The paper also recommends accelerating structural and financial sector reforms to help lift medium-term growth and promote a more resilient economy post pandemic, including through investment in climate resilient infrastructure and diversification within and outside the tourism sector.