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Coronavirus Impact: Tourism Industry Hit Hard In The Caribbean

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The images the island nations of the Caribbean would want you to remember include sand, sea, and palms.

These days, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the reality is quite another.

Founder and publisher of Caribbean Journal, Alexander Britell says, "The Caribbean is pretty well locked up. You are screened and there is a criterion you have to pass."

These days, most flights to Caribbean islands are banned and because they are islands, they have a natural defense against the coronavirus.

"The luxury of being an island is beneficial to many conductivity is more limited," Britell says.

"Actually, the Caribbean has been more aggressive than a lot of countries around the world. In a lot of Caribbean countries you can't even leave your house," he adds.

Hotels are shut down. The tourism industry, which employs an estimated 2.5 million people and generates nearly one-third of the region's economic output, is virtually at a standstill.

Other than the Dominican Republic, with 5,300 cases of coronavirus and 260 dead, the rest of the Caribbean population is faring fairly well.

What ails the region is a potential economic near-death that won't be cured unless things get back to normal.

"It depends on the United States, the U.K., and Canada. The three biggest tourist markets that are able to send people, people who can get on planes. If that happens then the Caribbean can recover," says Britell.

Click here to see a map of the pandemic affecting the region in real-time.

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