COVID-19 impact will push tourism back

Published on : Monday, March 30, 2020

An updated assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 on international tourism by the World Tourism Organisation has been released.

It predicts that the international tourist arrivals will be down by 20-30 per cent in 2020 as compared to the 2019 figures.

This is due to the unparalleled introduction of travel restrictions across the world. Due to the unprecedented social and economic challenge the global community faces the UNWTO stresses that the numbers are based in the latest developments. These should be interpreted with caution considering the extreme uncertain nature of the current crisis.

There will be a decline in international tourism receipts of between US $300-450 billion which is almost one third of the US $1.5 trillion generated in 2019.

Considering the past market trends there will be five-seven-years’ worth of growth will be lost to Covid-19.

In 2019, on the back of the global economic crisis the UNWTO noted that there was a decline in the international tourist arrivals by four percent and the SARS outbreak led to a decline of just 0.4 per cent in 2003.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili  stated that tourism is among the hardest hit of all economic sectors.However, tourism is also united in helping to address this immense health emergency –  This is their first and utmost priority – while working together to mitigate the impact of the crisis, particularly on employment, and to support the wider recovery efforts through providing jobs and driving economic welfare worldwide.


Pololikashvili went on saying that while it is too early to make a full assessment of the likely impact of Covid-19 on tourism, it is clear that millions of jobs within the sector are at risk of being lost.

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