The estimated cost of the pandemic to tourism in 2021 is $2 trillion

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has estimated that the corona will create 2 trillion dollars in revenue loss in global tourism in 2021. The World Tourism Organization, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, said the recovery of the sector was “fragile” and “slow”.

According to the statement made by the organization, 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide in 2019, before the pandemic. It has been announced that this number is estimated to be 70-75% lower in 2021, and a similar decrease is experienced in 2020.

Announcing that global tourism suffered an income loss of approximately 2 trillion dollars last year, UNWTO announced that tourism was among the main sectors hit by the crisis.

The medium-term outlook is not promising

While the organization did not make any predictions about the situation of the sector next year, it stated that the medium-term outlook is not promising. UNWTO’s statement noted that “uneven vaccination rates around the world” and new variants such as Delta or Omicron “could affect the already slow and fragile recovery”.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili told AFP that new virus restrictions and shutdowns in many countries “reveal how unpredictable the situation is”.

“This is a historic crisis in the tourism industry, but tourism has the power to recover quickly,” Pololikashvili said at the opening of the UNWTO’s annual plenary session, which began in Madrid on Tuesday. Pololikashvili said, “I hope that 2022 will be much better than 2021”.

UNWTO announced that the tourism sector was adversely affected by the travel restrictions imposed due to the virus, as well as the economic consequences such as the increase in oil prices and the deterioration of supply chains.

Pololikashvili said countries need to harmonize virus protocols and restrictions, tourists are “confused” and do not know exactly the conditions of travel.

“Despite the recovery in the third quarter, the pace of recovery continues to be uneven in different parts of the world, in terms of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and passenger confidence,” said Pololikaşvili, adding that tourist arrivals, especially in Asian and Pacific countries, fell by 95 percent.


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