(Ecofin Agency) - The stringent restrictive measures adopted by governments to control the propagation of the novel coronavirus pandemic across the world are expected to drop international tourist arrivals by 20% to 30% this year, compared to the last one. This, in turn, could cost between $300 billion and 450 billion, or about one-third of the $1.5 trillion generated in 2019.
Based on past market trends, this covid-19 induced loss reflects a loss of between five and seven years’ worth of growth, UNWTO said. In 2009, with the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals dipped by 4%, while the SARS outbreak led to a decline of just 0.4% in 2003.
UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is among the hardest hit of all economic sectors …. while it is too early to make a full assessment of the likely impact of Covid-19 on tourism. It is clear that millions of jobs within the sector are at risk of being lost. Around 80% of all tourism businesses are small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the sector has been leading the way in providing employment and other opportunities for women, youth and rural communities.”