Tourism in the region has come to a temporary standstill, beginning in April 2020, as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. This paralysis has not only hit Caribbean economies and employment hard, but also many local communities in Latin America. In this brief, the contribution of tourism to exports, gross domestic product (GDP) and employment is reviewed, together with the recent downturn in this activity in the region. An impact scenario shows that the slump in tourism may cause total GDP growth in the Caribbean and Latin America to fall by 8 percentage points and 1 percentage point, respectively, while total employment could potentially decline by 9 percentage points in the Caribbean and 2 percentage point in Latin America. As countries have taken measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis on tourism, recommendations are provided to step up the sector’s preparation for the economic recovery, while enhancing diversification as well as environmental and social sustainability.