Collapse Of Tourism During Pandemic Could Cost Global Economy $4 Trillion

Collapse Of Tourism During Pandemic Could Cost Global Economy $4 Trillion

Topline

The crash in international tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic could end up costing the global economy more than $4 trillion in 2020 and 2021, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday, a burden disproportionately felt in lower income countries unable to secure the vaccines needed to safeguard their populations.    

Key Facts

The drop in travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic cost the global tourism and related sectors $2.4 trillion in losses in 2020, according to a study by the UN’s Conference on Trade and Development and the UN’s World Tourism Organization. 

Losses this year are expected to be between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion, the study found, even accounting for the return to travel spurred on by high vaccination rates in richer countries.

The uneven distribution of vaccines around the world intensifies the economic blow of the pandemic, according to the report, with tourism in developing countries accounting for as much as 60% of global losses. 

While highly vaccinated countries like the U.K., U.S. and France are expected to recover more quickly, experts believe the sector will not recover completely until at least 2023.

Key barriers to recovery are travel restrictions, poor control of the virus and low traveler confidence, which could be bolstered by high vaccination rates and vaccine certification schemes. 

“Advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources, especially in developing countries,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. 

Key Background

The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic as travel firms, airlines and hospitality firms were largely shuttered amid Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Governments spent billions bailing out airlines and cruise ships became an early source of outbreaks for the disease. Even where borders have been more porous, low consumer confidence and limited travel stunted international tourism, even in recovering countries. Highly vaccinated, tourism dependent countries—such as Greece and Spain—that had partially reopened to travelers are now facing a tricky choice as they battle the fast-spreading Delta variant while trying to keep the industry going. The industry was one of the earliest hit by new restrictions and became a very public focal point  the 

Crucial Quote

The UN’s estimated losses are much worse than what it had expected a year ago, when it predicted a 12-month standstill to cost the world $1.2 trillion and $3.3 trillion. “Even the worst-case scenario UNCTAD projected last year has turned out to be optimistic,” the organization said, “with international travel still low more than 15 months after the pandemic started.”

Big Number

2.1%. That’s how much of its GDP the U.S. faces losing from a reduction in tourism, the study found. The study’s most optimistic scenario sees a drop of 1.1%.

Further Reading

Covid-19 and tourism. An update (UNCTAD)

International tourism not seen rebounding until 2023 – UN report (Reuters)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

https://newsminer.co

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *