Friday, September 19, 2008

Wall Street Woes May Seriously Affect The Caribbean

By Oscar Ramjeet

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad: Travel agents, hoteliers, and tourism officials in Trinidad and Tobago are worried that the possible impact of the financial turbulence in the United States could affect Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean countries.

Wayne Rodriguez, President of the Travel Agents Association, told the Trinidad Express newspaper that he expected the financial crisis in the United States to have an impact on regional markets.

He was responding to concerns about the economic downturn and continuing troubles in the US financial system that led to the collapse of the housing market, Lehman Bros and the rescue sale of Merrill Lynch, as well as the US$85 billion bail-out of insurance giant, AIG.

Rodriguez said travel agents already noted a slowdown in passengers booking in September, although he attributed it mainly to the increase in food prices and high inflation.
He is certain that the falling oil prices and the economic downturn in the US would affect travel and tourism in the entire region.

He pointed out, however, that business travel might not seriously be affected, but it would definitely have a toll on vacations and leisure travels

President of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association, Kevin Kenny said that it would be difficult for him to immediately give a specific impact of the turbulence in the US, but agreed that it would certainly affect tourism in the region.

Source: CNN

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