UN States International Tourism Could Decline By 60-80% In 2020

by Sanjana Shenoy
UN States International Tourism Could Decline By 60-80% In 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has badly affected the travel and tourism industry across the world. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) informs that international tourism could decide by 60-80 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic. This would result in a revenue loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion and place the livelihoods of millions of people at risk. The global international agency has revealed that coronavirus has caused a 22 per cent drop in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020.

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International Travel Can See 60-80% Decline In 2020

According to the World Tourism Organization, a United Nations specialised agency the global heath crisis might lead to an annual tourism decline between 60 per cent and 80 per cent in comparison with the 2019 figures. It stated,  “This places millions of livelihoods at risk and threatens to roll back progress made in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili revealed “The world is facing an unprecedented health and economic crisis. Tourism has been hit hard, with millions of jobs at risk in one of the most labour-intensive sectors of the economy.”

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As per the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the data shows a 22 per cent drop in arrivals in the first three months of the year. During the start of a lockdown in many countries, the arrivals in March dropped sharply by 57 per cent. The widespread travel restrictions and closure of airports and national borders lead to further fall in tourist arrivals. This situation has led to a loss of 67 million international arrivals and about USD 80 billion in receipts.

The agency replied that even though Asia and the Pacific show the highest impact in relative and absolute terms (a decline of 33 million arrivals), the impact in Europe, though lower in percentage is still quite high in volume (-22 million). Due to the outbreak and uncertainty continue to dominate the industry, the current scenarios point to a possible fall in arrivals of 58 per cent to 78 per cent for the year. This depends on the duration of travel restrictions, shutdown of borders and the speed of containment of the virus.

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3 Possible Scenarios Can Take Place For International Travel In 2020

The agency has given 3 scenarios for 2020 based on possible dates for the gradual opening of international borders. As per Scenario 1, there might be a decline of 8 per cent in arrivals, if international borders and travel restrictions are eased in early July. According to Scenario 2, there might be a 70 per cent fall if international borders and travel restrictions are eased in early September. And Scenario 3 suggests that there could be a possible 78 per cent fall in arrivals if international borders and travel restrictions are gradually eased in early December. Under these 3 scenarios the impact of the loss of demand in international travel would lead to a loss of 850 million to 1.1 billion international tourists, loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion in export revenues from tourism and 100 to 120 million direct tourism jobs at risk.

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Also Read: Indian Tourism Ministry Is Working On A Certification To Ensure All Tourist Spots Are Safe

Domestic Tourism Will Recover Faster Than International Tourism

The agency stated “This is by far the worst crisis that international tourism has faced since records began (1950). The impact will be felt to varying degrees in the different global regions and at overlapping times, with Asia and the Pacific expected to rebound first.” However, the silver lining in this situation is that the domestic demand is predicted to recover faster than international demand according to the UNWTO Panel of Experts survey.

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With a reference to the previous crisis, leisure travel is expected to recover quicker, mainly travel for visiting friends, family, relatives instead of business travel. The estimates of the recovery of international travel is more positive in Africa and the Middle East, with most experts foreseeing recoveries in 2020 itself. Experts in the USA are least optimistic to see international travel recovery in 2020. Europe and Asia have left half of the experts expecting recovery this year, and the other half with no such hope. Now, only time will tell about the recovery of international travel, till then all we can do is stay safe and stay home. Here are 10 Places That Are Opening Up For Tourism Again Rather Cautiously!