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FEB 19, 2016 @ 03:33 PM

Zika Will Take A $664 Million Bite Out Of Cuban Tourism, World Bank
Estimates
Emily Canal
FORBES STAFF

Mexico and Cuba are the two countries with the most to lose in terms of
short-term economic costs
That’s a hefty price for Cuba, which has seen an influx of American
travelers in the last year and could expect even more
As concerns mount over Zika and its potential link to microcephaly birth
defects in babies, the World Bank estimates Latin America and the
Caribbean will suffer a staggering $3.5 billion economic loss due to the
virus this year .

The economic impact will be driven by people avoiding travel to the
areas with Zika, according to the Feb. 18 report. The loss of tourism
revenue will come primarily from personal trips or vacations rather than
business trips. The report comes after the bank made $150 million
available towards fighting Zika earlier this week, an amount almost
triple what the World Health Organization said it needed to combat the
disease.

Mexico and Cuba are the two countries with the most to lose in terms of
short-term economic costs , according to the report. The World Bank
estimates Mexico will lose $744 million and Cuba will lose $664 million,
or .86% of the island’s GDP. Cuba’s share of the total loss to the
region works out to be about 19%

The Caribbean country is not a member of the World Bank and the numbers
in the report are estimates based off data from the World Tourism
Organization, Yanina Budkin, the lead communications officer of the
World Bank, told FORBES in an email. Missing figures like the
expenditures of inbound travelers were estimated using similar countries.

That’s a hefty price for Cuba, which has seen an influx of American
travelers in the last year and could expect even more as President
Barack Obama continues to ease restrictions and legalizes direct
commercial flights to the island.

Source: Zika Will Take A $664 Million Bite Out Of Cuban Tourism, World
Bank Estimates – Forbes –
www.forbes.com/sites/emilycanal/2016/02/19/zika-will-take-a-664-million-bite-out-of-cuban-tourism-world-bank-estimates/#1d7440e55ab0

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