International tourist arrivals decline by 65 per cent during the first half of 2020

Published on : Saturday, September 19, 2020

As per a new issue of the World Tourism Barometer from the United Nations specialized agency, international tourist arrivals declined by 65 per cent during the first half of 2020. This symbolizes an extraordinary decrease, with countries around the world shutting down their borders and introducing travel restrictions in the wake of the pandemic.

International tourist arrivals plummeted 93 per cent in June compared to 2019, and the latest data from the World Tourism Organization showed the harsh impact Covid19 has had on the sector.

According to the UNWTO, the massive drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 brings is tantamount to a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about US$ 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism.

To quote the UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, “The latest World Tourism Barometer shows the deep impact this pandemic is having on tourism, a sector upon which millions of people depend for their livelihoods. However, safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again. Coordinated action is key.”

However, in the recent weeks, a growing number of destinations have started to reopen for international tourists. As of early September, 53 per cent of destinations had eased travel restrictions. Many governments, nevertheless, remain cautious, and the lockdowns introduced during the first half of the year have had an enormous impact on international tourism. The sharp and sudden fall in arrivals has put millions of jobs and businesses at risk.

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