Covid-19 hits global tourism; to record losses upto $2 trillion in 2021


The coronavirus outbreak will foresee the global tourism sector incurring revenue losses of nearly $2 trillion in 2021, as put forth by the UN’s tourism body.

It was reported that the sector’s recovery is rather slow and fragile.

The World Tourism Organization based in Madrid presented the forecast at a time when Europe is struggling with the surge in infections and the threat of new Covid-19 variant, termed Omicron, spreading worldwide.

According to the body, as compared to the 1.5 billion tourist arrivals recorded in 2019 prior to the emergence of pandemic, 2021 will witness 70% to 75% drop in international tourist arrivals, similar to the trend observed in 2020.

UNWTO noted that during the pandemic, tourism sector emerged as one of the brutally impacted industries as it lost about $2.0 trillion last year in total revenues.

Even though the UN body responsible for promoting tourism does not reflect on the sector’s performance next year, its medium-term outlook presents discouraging results.

While sharing the consequential status of the tourism sector, the body highlighted two major causes for the continued losses. First, the UN body prominently underlined the prevalence of uneven vaccination rates followed by the occurrence of the Delta variant and Omicron, which are the new Covid-19 strains, posing potential threat to the already fragile status of the sector.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Head stated that the implementation of new restrictions and lockdown norms adhering to the resurgence of infections across several nations speak of how hard it is to anticipate such unprecedented events.

Besides the travel restrictions due to the virus, UNWTO mentioned that the pandemic also put the tourism sector in an economic crisis as a result of rising oil prices and disrupted supply chain.

To fasten the recovery, Mr. Pololikashvilli has prompted nations to integrate respective protocols and travel restrictions in order to better guide the confused tourists.

With increased travel confidence, reduced stringency of entry restrictions in several nations and optimum vaccination rate, international tourist arrivals in the Northern Hemisphere bounced back this summer.

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