The pandemic struck the Caribbean at the height of high season, when snow birds, primarily from the United States, pack the beaches for winter and spring break, and provide the revenue to see resorts and sometimes entire countries through the lull of summer and fall.
Now, as the region begins to reopen to international travelers, it faces not just the challenge of the pandemic, but the financial blow dealt by the absence of cruising and the onset of hurricane season.
Excluding Guyana, the Caribbean economy is expected to contract by 3 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank.
“We’re not fooling ourselves. We fully expect to see a slow return of travel,” said Frank Comito, the chief executive and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, which represents 33 national hotel associations in the region.
As countries reopen, most are mandating face masks indoors and social distancing.