Tourism still driving Barbados economy

Tourism is leading the way as the Barbados economy continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes reported in his third quarter economic review that the economy grew by 10.1 per cent in the first nine months of this year, including 9.8 per cent growth between July and September alone.

The forecast is for the economy to grow by 10 per cent this year overall, followed by growth between 3.5 per and five per cent in 2023.

But Haynes said predicted slower global economic activity amid the tightening of financial conditions in advanced economies was a threat to Barbados’ prospects.

The Governor said that while economy was not yet producing at pre-pandemic levels, “based on encouraging forward bookings, tourism is expected to sustain its rebound for the remainder of the year”.

Reporting on the tourism performance during a press conference at the Frank Collymore Hall on Wednesday, Haynes said visitor arrivals “continue to be dominated by the traditional source markets, with the United Kingdom leading the way, accounting for 40 per cent of total arrivals and 71 percent of 2019 levels”.

“This outpaced the recovery from the United States and Canada which had arrivals of 56 per cent and 49 per cent of 2019 levels, respectively, for the nine-month period,” he said.

In addition to expanded gross domestic product (GDP), Barbados main economic indicators were inflation of 7.8 per cent, unemployment of 9.3 per cent, international reserves of $2.8 billion, a primary surplus of about $368 million, and gross public sector debt of 126.6 per cent of GDP.

Haynes said that as Barbados’ economic recovery continues, Government needed to “continue its reforms, particularly of state owned enterprises.

“These reforms are intended to improve the quality of service while reducing the burden on the public finances and freeing up resources for needed infrastructural developments and improved resilience to climatic events,” he said.

“Better service quality in the public sector should also contribute to the overall enhancements in productivity and competitiveness in the private sector.” (SC)


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