Without strong support, the sudden and unexpected fall in tourism could devastate the economies of small island developing states (SIDS), the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has warned.
Since tourism is a strong socio-economic pillar of many such destinations, the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sector places millions of jobs and businesses at risk, with women and informal workers the most vulnerable.
In the second of its briefing note series on tourism and COVID-19, UNWTO has highlighted the severe impact the pandemic could have on livelihoods in these destinations.
According to the latest data from the United Nations specialised agency, tourism accounts for more than 30 per cent of total exports in the majority of the 38 SIDS.
In some countries, this proportion is as high as 90 per cent, making them especially vulnerable to falling tourist numbers.
Such a major shock translates into a massive loss of jobs and a sharp decline in foreign exchange and tax revenues, which curbs public spending capacity and the ability to deploy necessary measures to support livelihoods through the crisis, UNWTO further warns.
International tourist arrivals have fallen dramatically, and destinations that rely on the sector for jobs…