How is the Caribbean region dealing with COVID-19? Our analytics team set out to answer this question in our latest COVID-19 Focus Report. BlueDot generates these reports on a regular basis for our clients, digging into key concerns with both public and proprietary data sets. Here’s a sampling of what we found:
- We leveraged BlueDot’s up-to-date intelligence as of 6 p.m. EST on October 13, 2020 to provide a COVID-19 epidemiological update and identify inbound air passenger volumes observed in June and July 2020 (the most up-to-date historical flight data available) for the region at the country/territory-level.
- We focused on 10 locations of interest: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Trinidad-Tobago, Bahamas, Aruba, Cuba, Martinique, and Haiti. These locations were the 10 countries/territories that reported the greatest number of new cases of COVID-19 in the last 30 days as of October 6, 2020.
- For these locations of interest, we highlighted other infectious diseases that have been reported this year, current travel restrictions and physical distancing policies. We used commercial flight data for the month of October 2020 to estimate the maximum potential number of flights and passengers scheduled to arrive in each of our 10 locations of interest.
Origins & Destinations
- In June and July 2020, the five most popular destinations in the Caribbean region based on passenger volumes were: Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, and U.S. Virgin Islands. Of note, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic received nearly 50% of all passengers arriving in the Caribbean region during these two months.
- For the month of October 2020, the United States is the origin country with the highest number of potential air passengers, based on seat capacity of scheduled flights, travelling to seven of our 10 locations of interest.
COVID-19 & Tourism
- Several small countries and territories in the Caribbean region have recently experienced a significant growth in reported COVID-19 cases recently. Rising numbers of COVID-19 cases will likely lead to increased healthcare utilization and strain public health resources needed to address other concerns, including emergencies arising from natural disasters and health issues unrelated to COVID-19.
- Continued COVID-19 transmission in the Caribbean region will inform the introduction, maintenance, or tightening of travel restrictions and local physical distancing policies to control spread. Such decisions may vary between countries/territories depending on their local context and will continue to affect the tourism sector in the upcoming months.
- Although COVID-19 remains a pressing public health concern, inbound travellers and existing residents of countries/territories in the Caribbean region are also at risk of acquiring other infectious diseases. Appropriate prevention measures, such as ensuring adequate vaccination for routine vaccine-preventable diseases, malaria prophylactic medication, and precautions to limit mosquito bites, are available to lower such risks.