Tourism, sun, sea and masks: Anticipating the post-COVID-19 recovery of the Caribbean tourism sector

Amidst plans to resuscitate the Caribbean region’s economy post-COVID-19, robust debate ensues as to the viability of tourism as a main pillar of countries’ economies.

In a June 2, 2020 press release, Joy Jibrilu, director general, Ministry of Tourism & Aviation stated, “Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and well-being of our residents and visitors… We must remember that we are living in a new normal in the wake of COVID-19 and a lot is going to change across the tourism sector. We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”

The Eugene Dupuch Law School and its partners, the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers, APEX-The Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions, Connected Caribbean and The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, are hosting a free online webinar on Thursday, June 18, 2020 designed to address the impact of COVID-19 on regional tourism and the legal implications for the reopening of Caribbean borders, businesses and society. Distinctive about this online discussion is the consideration of the legal dimension of COVID-19 orders and policies in the area of Tourism.

A panel of experts drawn from across the Caribbean will lead the discussion exploring the issue of the recovery of the tourism sector. Jibrilu will join other panelists: Emile Leiba, attorney-at-law and president of the Jamaican Bar Association, Jamaica; and Dr. Terrence Farrell, economist and developmental specialist, Trinidad and Tobago to share insights, predictions and guidance on the legal ramifications of the COVID-19 recovery for the Caribbean tourism sector. The discussion will be moderated by renowned journalist Jerome Sawyer.

The discussion is particularly important at this time as the region begins to slowly open its borders to tourists. Dr. Farrell has noted as a concern that, “Tourism will also be adversely impacted by the global recession and higher unemployment, which will reduce discretionary spending.” However, he believes that tourism will recover provided various measures are put in place, including some attention to other sectors of the economy.

“The region has a competitive advantage in tourism and should not move away from it. The desire/need to travel and vacation will be back stronger than ever post-COVID – cruise ships may take longer. However, the pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of a resilient agriculture sector across the region.”

Thursday’s webinar kick starts a Law & Society Webinar series co-hosted by the Eugene Dupuch Law School (EDLS), the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) and APEX-The Caribbean Agency for Justice Solutions. EDLS is one of three regional law schools established by the Caribbean region’s Council of Legal Education and is based in The Bahamas. CAJO provides a host of judicial education engagements for judicial officers across the region, including its biennial conference, training programs and workshops on various topics and areas of law and practice, and a biannual newsletter, CAJO News. APEX is a Caribbean-based, special-purpose, not-for-profit agency created by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and dedicated to the delivery of technology-enabled solutions and capacity-building services to support the needs of courts, law offices and related institutions in the region.

These institutions have, in their individual spheres, conducted training programs and public fora from time to time. They have determined together to embark on a series of law and society webinars that will deal with a number of pressing regional issues that are fundamental to the development, prosperity and continued success of all our Caribbean peoples.

Tonya Bastian-Galanis, principal, Eugene Dupuch Law School explains that, “It is our hope that these webinars will provide opportunity for a truly regional discourse on practical strategies for empowering Caribbean societies and protecting our regional wealth and welfare.” The public is invited to register for the free webinar at

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