Tourism industry expected to be devastated

No one would be shocked to know that COVID-19 will have an affect, big or small, on every industry. While some have stronger defenses, others will struggle to reset while playing catch up on the last couple of very detrimental months.

Cayman’s Finance Minister, Hon. Roy McTaggart, presented a ‘stark reality’ of the COVID economic crisis this week and announced a loss in revenue to the public purse of up to $250 million in 2020 and 9,000 jobs will be displaced.

One industry that will take a huge hit on loss of revenue and jobs is Cayman tourism. The World Tourism Organisation and Statistica published estimates on how the pandemic will affect international tourist arrivals in 2020.

Statistica published “Unfortunately, the pandemic’s impact on the tourism industry is expected to be devastating, even under the most optimistic of the three scenarios. Assuming the opening of borders and the gradual lifting of travel restrictions begins in early July, the UNWTO expects international tourist arrivals to drop by 58 percent to 610 million this year. That would set the global travel industry back to 1998, when the number of international travelers was last so low. It could get worse, however, if travel restrictions remain in place until later in the year. Assuming they are eased as late as December, the UNWTO sees international tourist arrivals fall as low as 320 million, a level last seen in the mid-80s and possibly costing the industry $1+ trillion.”

With this in mind, it is safe to say that businesses in Cayman cannot depend on the tourism industry this year and marketing any kind of travel would be considered irresponsible. However, you might want to consider using this time to build trust and confidence in your customers. Read this article by the World Bank Blogs which identifies ways in which businesses can preserve the tourism industry. If you need assistance reevaluating your business and marketing strategy during this difficult time, contact your Hurley’s Media Sales Representative, email [email protected].