WASHINGTON, USA – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the participation of the Organization of American States (OAS), launched the series of publications Recommendations to Minimize the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19 in the Tourism Sector of Latin America and the Caribbean .
Tourism is an important engine of economic growth for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2019, before the pandemic, tourism represented 10 percent of Latin American GDP and 14.1 percent of Caribbean GDP. However, the sector is being impacted hard by the health crisis, and to accelerate its recovery, boosting tourism demand under the best possible sanitary guarantees is critical.
The series is the result of a previous diagnostic on the adequacy of current biosafety tourism protocols against COVID-19. It identified the main nodes of contagion risk throughout the process of providing service to tourists.
These recommendations provide a technical basis to update biosafety tourism protocols, based on the latest scientific advances on the transmission routes of COVID-19. In addition, the series aims to establish control mechanisms to assess the effectiveness of the implementation of the protocols.
An important concept throughout the series is that the risk of contagion is not static, instead, it increases or reduces depending on changing factors that must be managed from tourist establishments and spaces, such as ventilation, relative humidity, safety distances, type of mask, and exposure time.
This series of publications is aligned with the IDB’s Vision 2025, by prioritizing the need to support a robust recovery in the tourism sector after the COVID-19 shock, within the framework of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.