Far from the coronavirus epicenter, Caribbean tourism starts to get sick
“It affects us real bad,” said Norma Wilson, 53, proprietor of the Dandy Family Restaurant. “We never got no customers. I’m too worried because I have bills I have to pay.”
The economic fallout of the novel coronavirus, declared a pandemic Wednesday by the World Health Organization, is slamming the infection epicenters of Asia and Europe. But from oil producers in the Middle East to hotels and restaurateurs here in the Caribbean, a fast-spreading ripple effect is engulfing even those far-flung corners of the globe that have yet to confirm many cases of the coronavirus.
The cruise-heavy, visitor-dependent Caribbean is faring significantly better than other tourism hot spots. Cruise passenger traffic on some islands is down by the tens of thousands. But guest numbers at hotels and resorts, far larger generators of local revenue, are dipping less or holding steady — albeit with serious signs of trouble ahead. The islands are in the final weeks of high season and counting their blessings that the virus did not strike earlier.
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[Source: Washington Post]