Tourism sector expected to lose more than $1 trillion due to Covid-19

Published on : Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The coronavirus has left the tourism sector reeling under its impact. International tourism numbers could drop by 58 per cent to 78 per cent in 2020. According to the latest research data, it would lead to a loss of $910 billion to $1.2 trillion in tourism exports which amounted to $1.5 trillion in 2019.

Based on a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, the tourism industry’s woes will cause a loss of 1.5 per cent to 2.8 per cent on global GDP. It would translate to a $1.17 trillion to $2.22 trillion loss for the global economy.

Tourism is ranked as the third largest export sector in the global economy. It accounts for over 30 per cent of exports for many of the small island developing states (SIDS).

For some islands likeSt. Lucia, the figure is actually 90 per cent. In 2019, tourism accounted for 10 per cent of all exports in Africa. Worldwide, it generated seven per cent of all trade and employed 1 in 10 people. Moreover, there were 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals and 8.8 billion domestic arrivals in 2019.

On the other hand, between January and August 2020, the number of international tourist arrivals dropped by 70 per cent according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). It resulted in a $730 billion loss for tourism exports. This was eight times the losses experienced throughout the 2009 global financial crisis. APAC led the way with a 79 per cent drop while Africa and EMEA shed 69 per cent each.

During the first four months of 2020, the US saw the highest loss in tourism revenue, losing $30.71 billion. Countries in Europe accounted for 50 per cent of the top 10 regions that suffered the highest revenue losses.

Meanwhile, the Caribbean made up 50 per cent of the top 10 countries that had the highest GDP losses during the period.

China’s domestic tourism sector is projected to suffer a 52 per cent decline in 2020 based on a study by the China Tourism Academy. A report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) stated that Italy could lose up to €36.7 billion from travel and tourism in 2020.

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