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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Aruba managed to contain the pandemic in the first months of the outbreak but experienced a resurgence of new infections in the summer. The economic impact of COVID-19 is particularly severe given Aruba’s high dependency on tourism. While the authorities’ swift response has helped contain the human and economic damage, it could not avoid a severe GDP contraction.
Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, 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.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
A mission was requested by the New Zealand authorities to the Cook Islands to focus on policy options for transitioning to high-income status, financial sector stability and regulatory framework, and debt sustainability.1 It evaluated these issues in the context of the medium-term outlook and against the context of a recently developed fiscal framework. The Cook Islands is a self-governing territory in free association with New Zealand, but it is not an IMF member (Box 1).
Mr. Serhan Cevik
This paper develops a gravity model framework to estimate the impact of infectious diseases on bilateral tourism flows among 38,184 pairs of countries over the period 1995–2017. The results confirm that international tourism is adversely affected by disease risk, and the magnitude of this negative effect is statistically and economically significant. In the case of SARS, for example, a 10 percent rise in confirmed cases leads to a reduction of as much as 9 percent in tourist arrivals. Furthermore, while infectious diseases appear to have a smaller and statistically insignificant negative effect on tourism flows to advanced economies, the magnitude and statistical significance of the impact of infectious diseases are much greater in developing countries, where such diseases tend to be more prevalent and health infrastructure lags behind.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic will hit Montenegro hard, as tourism is a key industry. Fiscal space has eroded in recent years due to large public capital outlays, and the COVID-19 crisis is creating new budgetary strains as health spending and other expenditures rise, while the economic contraction lowers revenues.