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Tourism in Latin America

Measuring the crash

In a research paper for the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB) published in June 2020, economists Henry Mooney and María Alejandra Zegarra discussed the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in LAC. They make the point that the pandemic has been an “extreme outlier”, in other words, an unusual, severe, and largely unprecedented event. Of course, all economies and business sectors are vulnerable to unexpected shocks of different kinds. But the authors identify six significant events over the last two decades and conclude that in terms of the impact on tourism none have had the intensity or likely durability of Covid-19. The six include the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States (September 2001), the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003, the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, the H1N1 global flu pandemic of 2009-2010, the Ebola outbreak of 2013-2016, and finally, the Zika virus outbreak of 2015-2016.

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