Published on : Tuesday, March 24, 2020
The corona virus outbreak is expected to cost the global tourism industry $1 trillion in lost revenue, bringing around 50 million job losses worldwide, said the head of Global Tourism Forum (GTF) in Turkey.
Bulut Bağcı, the managing director of the GTF, said that the global tourism market averages revenue of $1.7 trillion annually and due to corona virus pandemic, economic losses have already reached $600 million. “We believe the loss will reach at least $1 trillion by the end of the year,” Bağcı said.
He added that the total economic loss could reach $5 trillion when sectors related to tourism are taken into consideration. “Tourism affects at least 60 sectors and unfortunately, even if the outbreak is brought under control, tourism’s recovery will not be easy,” Bağcı said.
He said that the virus’s effects on tourism are growing every day with around 70% of the tourism sector’s activities postponed due to rapid spread of the virus and the governments’ stringent restrictions on free movement.
International travel is expected to fall at least 10.5% this year, marking the biggest year-on-year drop in history.
Bağcı said that Turkey has taken important preventative measures before time for combating the outbreak and some countries, especially in Europe, were late to take the issue seriously.
The start of this year looked promising for Turkey with the tourism industry enjoying its best January ever with 1.8 million arriving visitors, marking a 16.1% year-on-year surge. However, Turkey is expected to witness a slowdown in the following months, along with many other tourism destinations worldwide, as an aftermath of corona virus epidemic.
Turkey has already suspended flights from around 60 countries including China, Iran and Germany, which account for a large percentage of total tourist arrivals to the country.