In many small island developing States (SIDS), tourism is the engine of economic growth, export earnings and formal employment.
The COVID-19 pandemic ravaged global tourism, through a major slowdown of international tourism arrivals, billions of dollars of lost revenues and millions of lost jobs.
The pandemic's impact was even more severe in highly vulnerable, tourism-dependent SIDS, with many of them closing their borders entirely to protect their populations and health systems.
In this paper, we examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic development prospects in SIDS, through case study of Vanuatu, a tourism-dependent economy that suffered major macroeconomic impacts from the pandemic.
We provide a forward look at the prospects for the post-pandemic recovery of tourism and the national economy, with policy recommendations for Vanuatu.
We also aim for this case study to be useful to policy makers in other tourism-dependent SIDS and developing countries, as they undertake their post-pandemic recovery.