Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) Governor John Rolle said global vaccinations will not boost traveller confidence until the second half of 2021, contending that the country’s economic strengthening and tourism recovery would not begin a meaningful uptick until 2022.
Governor Rolle, who made the remarks during the CBOB’s quarterly update, said projections were pushed back because there was no material restart to tourism in The Bahamas into the end of 2020 and no outlook for a great improvement in the first half of 2021.
In an article in the Nassau Guardian, Rolle said the virtual standstill of international travel in 2020 underscores the severe negative impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the Bahamian economy.
According to him, it is estimated that the Bahamian economy contracted by 16 per cent in 2020 and that tourism arrivals last year only reached one quarter of where they were in 2019.
“For The Bahamas, this limits the degree of economic strengthening that would be observed in 2021. The most significant upside potential for tourism recovery remains getting the virus under control in North America,” he said.
Rolle added that the almost $2-trillion fiscal stimulus being proposed by the Biden Administration in the US could have a positive impact on The Bahamas’ recovery, if it becomes reality.