Caribbean tourism is in urgent need of additional sources of funding to survive future crises, TravelPulse reports. This was among the suggestions from a new report on a study on the effects of COVID-19 on national destination management and marketing organizations in member countries of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and their early responses to the global pandemic, conducted by the George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies (GW IITS) and the CTO.
The survey revealed that COVID-19 has affected the financial health of tourism organizations
Most of the organizations are expected to or have to cut down on their operating budgets. The report called for advocacy on behalf of the destination organizations for financial support to remain strong and help to rebuild and recover the tourism sector. The organizations must find ways to be more creative with whatever resources they have left, especially with regards to marketing, the report said.
The report also said that the tourism bodies must remain alert and continue to seek support for tourism businesses if these businesses are to survive. It stresses the need for effective crisis management and communications among the immediate steps needed to recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19 and its impact on tourism.
The online survey was designed and analyzed by GW IITS. It was conducted from 6 -22 May amongst CTO’s 24 member countries. The GW IITS also organized tourism destination actions from mid-March to early May on mobility, economic relief, destination management, and community support, crisis communication, and destination marketing. The university also reviewed the websites and social media channels of various destination marketing organizations, industry associations, and destination consumer-facing websites to better understand the tourism industry’s response to COVID-19. This component of the research included 43 countries in the greater Caribbean, including CTO’s 24 member countries.
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