The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest health and economic challenges that the global community has faced in modern times. As entire countries and regions restrict travel and order their populations to stay at home, the global travel and tourism (T&T) industry has been effectively shut down. In Latin America and the Caribbean region, where according to the World Travel and Tourism Council the industry accounts for 10.2%1 of GDP, this has generated dire consequences. Accordingly, it is more important than ever for regional stakeholders to work together to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on T&T and set the industry on course for recovery.
That is why the World Economic Forum has published the Latin America and Caribbean Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Landscape Report. Part of the Forum’s long-running Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report series, this publication takes a regional look at “the set of factors and policies that enable sustainable development of the T&T sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country”. By better understanding the factors that affect T&T competitiveness, public-private cooperation can be calibrated to maximize the industry’s potential to boost economic development and the growth of small and medium businesses, reduce poverty and encourage greater gender parity in the labor force. Moreover, appropriately developed competitiveness strategies can be used to take advantage of opportunities presented by the current crisis to create a more sustainable and resilient T&T industry that will be better prepared for future headwinds. For this reason, the theme of this report is “Assessing Regional Opportunities and Challenges in the Context of COVID-19”.