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Dr. DeLisle Worrell: Slow economic growth in source markets not impacting Caribbean tourism

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Dr. DeLisle Worrell


Former Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell, believes that the growth prospects for Caribbean tourism remain strong despite the forecast of a slower growth rate for the United States in 2023.

The veteran economist explained that although the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom are significant sources of visitors to the Caribbean, fluctuations in their economic growth rates have little impact on the region’s tourism industry.

Penning an “Economic Letter” on his website, entitled “What really matters for Caribbean tourism growth”, Dr. Worrell notes that factors that affect the level of visitor arrivals to the Caribbean include: the availability of accommodations, tourist spend, and the quality of attractions and services.

Other factors contributing to visitor demand for a Caribbean destination include accessibility from North America and Europe, for example, modern airports, efficient public services, reliable infrastructure, and stable local currency.

Dr. Worrell emphasized that in order to remain competitive, Caribbean destinations must maintain high levels of quality service and productivity.

“The competitiveness of a small economy has nothing to do with price and everything to do with quality, service and productivity,” he asserted.

“The target markets to which the small economy sells are so large compared to what these economies produce that it is of no consequence to them whether those markets grow or shrink,” he continued.

The former central bank governor underscores the importance of continued investment in the Caribbean tourism industry to ensure long-term growth and competitiveness.

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