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Empty Caribbean Beaches Seen as a Once-Per-Century Shock

A beach remains empty during the national quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 2. 

A beach remains empty during the national quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 2. 

Photographer: Alejandro Granadillo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Caribbean nations are facing their biggest shock in at least a century as tourism slumps amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Marla Dukharan, an independent Barbados-based economist. Tourism accounts for between 34% and 48% of gross domestic product in The Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica, according to data from the Inter-American Development Bank. Even under the most optimistic scenario, the region will lose about 50% of its tourist revenue this year, wrote Dukharan, who was formerly a Caribbean economist at the Royal Bank of Canada.