In the framework of the Monthly Meeting of the Tourism and Society Think Tank (TSTT) we had an interview with Mr. Oscar Rueda, Director of the Executive Presidency of the Development Bank of Latin America - CAF.
Mr. Rueda, what are the main changes that the Bank has introduced in its strategy following the impact of the pandemic?
The first was the redirection of its resources to support partner countries by creating flexible disbursement mechanisms to deal with the pandemic, both for the cost of tests and vaccines and to cushion the effects of the fiscal deficit, a consequence of greater spending in the face of fewer resources. The Bank believes that greater efforts must now be made in the fields of health and education and more must be done to help stem the effects of climate change. The new emphasis on tourism is part of its campaign to help countries recover employment and income.
In your opinion and from an economic and investment point of view: has the greatest impact of the pandemic on tourism been in the social, investment or other areas?
In the social sphere, by far, precisely because of its great capacity to generate employment, employment for young people and women, skilled and unskilled employment, because of its income redistribution effect, its capacity to generate supply in rural territories and communities in the face of urban demand. Of course, investments have come to a standstill, but they are recovering rapidly, but employment is not. The quarantines as a measure to contain the pandemic had the greatest impact on the employment generated by the tourism sector, which is why it is necessary to continue support programmes for the sector, which despite its resilience will take years to regain its annual growth rate. According to ECLAC, losses in the tourism sector between 2020 and 2023 will range between 160 and 230 billion dollars. The challenge of recovery and growth is enormous, more so than in any other sector.