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The global tourism sector lost $ 1.3 trillion in 2020 as a result of travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The health crisis has hit global tourism hard. According to data released Thursday, January 28, by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), this sector lost $ 1.3 trillion in 2020 under the effect of travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This figure represents “more than 11 times the loss recorded during the global economic crisis of 2009”, and corresponds to a fall of 74% of tourist arrivals in the world compared to 2019, indicates the press release of the UNWTO, agency of the United Nations responsible for tourism and based in Madrid.
“2020 will have been the worst year in the history of tourism with 1 billion fewer international arrivals” compared to 2019, says the UNWTO.
Asia-Pacific, most affected region
During the economic crisis of 2008-2009, the number of visitors fell by only 4%. According to UNWTO experts, 100 to 120 million direct jobs are now threatened in tourism, many of them in small and medium-sized enterprises.
The organization notes a “deterioration of the global outlook for a rebound in 2021” and estimates that “it will take two and a half to four years for international tourism to return to the levels of 2019”.
“We are aware that the crisis is far from over,” said Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, quoted in the press release. “The harmonization, coordination and digitization of risk reduction measures related to Covid-19 at the travel level, in particular screening, tracing and vaccination certificates, are fundamental to promote safe travel and to prepare for the recovery of tourism when conditions allow, “he adds.
Asia-Pacific is the region that experienced the largest drop in arrivals in 2020 (-84% over one year), as it was the first affected by the pandemic and currently maintains the strongest restrictions on trips.
For Europe, the decline is 70% over the year, but the continent has experienced “the largest drop in absolute numbers”, with 500 million fewer arrivals. The Middle East and Africa saw a decline of 75% and the Americas by 69%.