2020 is the worst year in tourism history as international arrivals fell by 72% in the first ten months of the year amid continued travel restrictions and low consumer confidence.
This was the assessment of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as the tourism industry was one of the most affected industries all over the world due to coronavirus disease or Covid19 pandemic.
In comparison with 2019 in terms of international arrivals, tourism establishment could take between two-and-a-half and four years to recover, the UN said.
While most countries struggle to contain Covid19, the latest data gathered from the UNWTO showed that destinations have 900 million fewer international tourists between January to October compared to the same period last year. This translates into a loss of $935 billion in export revenues from international tourism, more than ten times the loss of the 2009 global economic crisis.
Expecting international arrivals to decline by 70 to 75% for the whole year, have anticipated the status of decline to the tourism level during the 1990s, with one billion fewer arrivals and a loss of some $ 1.1 trillion in international tourism receipts, UN said.
“This massive drop in tourism due to the pandemic could result in an economic loss of $2 trillion in world Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” it said.
But a UN specialized agency points out that tourism can rebound by the second half of 2021 despite the losses incurred in 2020.