The global economy could lose more than $ 4 billion due to the damage Covid-19 has caused to international tourism, a United Nations report has warned.
The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in conjunction with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said international tourism and its closely related sectors lost around $ 2.4 billion in 2020 and predicted a similar loss for this year of between $ 1.7 billion and $ 2.4 billion.
The report says tourist arrival levels are not expected to return to pre-Covid levels until 2023 or later, due to ongoing travel restrictions, slow containment of outbreaks, low traveler confidence and weaker economic conditions.
A full recovery also depended in large part on the use of vaccines around the world.
Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary General, said: “Tourism is a lifeline for millions of people, and advancing immunization to protect communities and support the safe restart of tourism is essential for the recovery. jobs and the generation of much-needed resources, particularly in developing countries, many of which are heavily dependent on international tourism.
UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant added: “The world needs a global immunization effort that will protect workers, mitigate negative social impacts and make strategic decisions about tourism.”
Developing countries are particularly affected by uneven vaccination rates, according to the report. Tourism is expected to recover faster in countries with higher vaccination rates, including the UK, France, Switzerland and the US.
Developing countries experienced the biggest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%. The most affected regions were Northeast and Southeast Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia. The least affected countries were North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.