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Barbados calls for tourism priority for Covid-19 vaccines

How COVID-19 Has Affected the Caribbean and Latin America

Photo: marina 113/123RF

Bridgetown, Sep 28 (Prensa Latina) Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley today called for tourism employees to have priority in accessing Covid-19 vaccines due to the importance of this sector for Caribbean countries.

Speaking at the virtual meeting of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the chief of government called to guarantee the safety of workers in the tourism branch to allow ‘thousands of people to go back to work.’

She recalled the multiple claims in favor of the reopening of this activity, particularly in the cruise category.

As one of the regions of the world that depends the most on tourism and travel, the economies of the Caribbean area ‘are stopped in their tracks and we have to find a way to reactivate them,’ she said.

For this reason, she asked the governments of the Americas to prioritize sector employees when administering the vaccines produced to face the pandemic.

Various entities and personalities consider that the impact of Covid-19 on Caribbean tourism may register a drop of between 60 and 70 percent at the end of this year.

For its part, the World Tourism Organization reported that globally this sector fell by 65 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019 and the return to those levels may take two to four years.

And she added that the collapse in travel demand in the period January-June 2020 caused the loss of 440 million international arrivals and around 460 billion dollars in export earnings from tourism.

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