Latin America & Caribbean: tourism GDP decline due to COVID-19 by scenario 2020

The gross domestic product (GDP) of Latin America and the Caribbean could suffer a contraction due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector in 2020. In a scenario of a ten percent drop in tourism revenue since the pandemic, the Caribbean's GDP would be the most affected in the region, with an estimated decrease of 0.8 percentage points. Under the same conditions, Mexico and Central America could see a drop of 0.3 percentage points in their GPD, while South America would be the least affected subregion, with a GDP reduction of 0.1 percentage points. In a more pessimistic scenario of a 30 percent drop in tourism revenue, the Caribbean GDP could fall 2.5 percent.

Tourism contribution to GDP in Latin America and the Caribbean

The gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economy used to calculate the value of all goods and services produced in a country or a region within a certain period of time. Over the past decade, the total contribution of the tourism sector to Latin America and the Caribbean’s gross domestic product has seen a positive trend, surpassing 620 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. In Mexico, which is the top destination country for international tourists in Latin America, over eight percent of the GDP is generated from tourism-related activities.

COVID-19 impact on travel and tourism in Mexico

Mexico is not only the leading country for tourism in Latin America but also one of the key players in the travel sector worldwide. However, the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause a steep drop in tourism revenue in the North American country and also contribute to the fall of its gross domestic product. Recent estimates show almost two million jobs in Mexico’s tourism sector are at risk following the halt imposed after the outbreak.

Change in gross domestic product due to tourism revenue losses after the coronavirus pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020, by subregion and scenario

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Release date

April 2020


Central and South America, Mexico

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Latin America"

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