Tue | Mar 28, 2023

No cancellations by US, Canadian tourists amid coronavirus – Clarke

Published:Tuesday | March 3, 2020 | 1:00 PM
Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke - File photo

Finance and the Public Service Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has said that there have been no cancellations of bookings for tourist arrivals from North America so far as a result of the coronavirus.

The virus has been causing major dislocations in various economies in parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

The United States is also grappling with increased coronavirus cases with at least six deaths reported as a result of the highly contagious virus.

Responding to questions from the parliamentary Opposition at a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament earlier today, Clarke said that the latest update from local tourism officials shows that there was no fallout in projections to date.

“The booking calendar remains robust,” Clarke said.

However, the finance minister made it clear that things could change in a very short period.

On the question of whether the budget was crafted with the likely impact on the coronavirus locally, Clarke said that when the estimates of expenditure were prepared, the full extent of the crisis was not yet manifested.

However, he told committee members that there were small contingencies in the budget to respond to any eventuality.

Clarke said that the government was paying very close attention to the issue and is in dialogue with the ministries that could be affected.

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