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Mar 25, 2020

Local Economy Di Tek Serious Lick

Carla Barnett

As the nation braces for a crisis provoked by the COVID 19, several measures were announced today at a press conference by the national Oversight Committee, to ease the pain on Belizeans and quell uncertainty caused by the threat of the spread of the virus.  Financial expert Doctor Carla Barnett, one of two economic czars on the National Oversight Committee the other being attorney, outlined the dire economic situation that Belize now finds itself in regarding COVID-19.  While great emphasis has been placed on the tourism sector, Doctor Barnett points out that the consequences of the rapid economic downturn are far-reaching, affecting all industries.  According to the economist, as much as eighty percent of workers in the hospitality industry, particularly hotels, are being laid off.


Dr. Carla Barnett, Financial Expert

“The situation in the economy is catastrophic, that’s what we describe it as.  Catastrophic because it is not only the tourism sector, it is the allied sectors, everybody that contributes to tourism and that‘s a very large sector of the economy that we‘re talking about.  The information that we have suggests that we are talking about upwards of eighty percent of the employees in the hotel sector that are losing their jobs, that‘s eighty percent of about fourteen thousand people.  All of the tour guides, that‘s a hundred percent of about twenty-eight hundred, between twenty-eight hundred, two thousand five to three thousand people.  We‘ve also had significant job losses at the borders, in the free zones, as a result of the shutdown.  We‘ve had significant impact on the productive sector, those people, the farmers who provide to the hotel and restaurants that serve the tourism visitors and so this, the impact is going to be quite large.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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