Global tourism industry’s recovery still looks bleak

Published on : Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The global tourism industry’s ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic still looks bleak, and it is expected that tourism revenue in 2021 will only improve a littleas an effect of last year’s historic losses.

The UNWTO estimates that the contribution of tourism to the world economy this year will be $1.9 trillion, which is a slight improvement over last year’s $1.6 trillion but still far lower than the $3.5 trillion that the tourism industry earned in 2019.

Among the reasons for the slow recovery is the ongoing pandemic, and the recent emergence of the highly transmissible omicron variant presenting a potential hurdle as the industry gears up for the upcoming winter holiday season.

To quote ZurabPololikashvili, the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, “[W]e cannot let our guard down and need to continue our efforts to ensure equal access to vaccinations, coordinate travel procedures, make use of digital vaccination certificates to facilitate mobility, and continue to support the sector.”

Global lockdowns and stringent travel restrictions made international tourism plunge by 73% in 2020, with about one billion fewer people traveling abroad compared to the year before.

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