US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

View this week’s episode of our podcast, COVID-19: The Unwanted Visitor, here. This week, IATA’s regional vice president for the Americas, Peter Cerda, shares information on the state of the global aviation sector, the impact of the lockdowns on the Caribbean and the need for all governments to support the airlines.

Here are some brief quotes:

“We’re talking about – in terms of the Caribbean – the impact in GDP is roughly about $740 million. “

“We have 23,000 jobs that are at risk as well, but aviation is not the only equation in this, we’re just part of the equation. If you look at the [wider] impact, the entire travel and tourism sector, it’s actually devastating. There, the numbers actually increase to $6.45 billion and we put 355,000 jobs at risk when we talk about hotels, restaurants, tour operators, agencies and so on.”

“Those countries that are helping the industry will position themselves in a much better way when the crisis is over, to reinstitute flights. Those countries where they are not helping their airlines, those airlines are going to be in a very difficult situation to be able to restart.”

“Lowering passenger fees and taxation fees. One of the biggest problems that we’ve always faced in the Caribbean, [it] is a very highly-taxed market and it’s always taxed on the airline side, on the passenger, consumer side. This will be a big challenge for the Caribbean once we are able to escape from this crisis,”