December 27, 2008 | Comments 0

Caribbean & South American Tourism Declines in 2008

declining_tourism-150x1501The aftermath of the hurricanes that swept through the Caribbean Islands this year, along with the recession in developed countries, has caused untold damage to the tourism industry in the said region. The combination of both has left a lot of mom and pop businesses not only in the Caribbean, but also South America, to experience losses as the year comes to a close.

The Winter holidays, which has always been the top income generating season, was a disappointment to the Caribbean and South American regions. This however, was already expected due to the deceleration of tourist activities way back in June of 2008. The financial crisis had not hit hard during that time, but most of the North American tourists were already feeling the credit crunch due to the housing market crash. People were not willing to spend money they did not have on Caribbean vacations or tropical cruises.

Much to the dismay of local shops, the tourism industry isn’t expected to recover in 2009 amidst the fact that many hotels and cruise liners have been lowering prices for vacation packages. This has concerned not only the locals, but also the governments of the said countries. The Caribbean Islands is best known for its tourist attractions and a lot of people rely on visitors for their income. They may need to think of an alternative while the whole world tries to recover from the financial crisis.

Development projects have halted, as investors are not willing to shell out much needed cash. These companies are still trying to determine whether or not the tourism in the various islands will make it through the crisis. Unemployment is expected worsen when the new year arrives as resorts close down half of their operations.

The Holiday season was bleak compared to the past few years. Many are still hopeful though, that the lure of the islands will save their industry from further crashing come 2009.

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