Shocking figures from an industry destroyed by Covid-19

$ 4,000 billion. The collapse of the tourism industry could cost the world economy in 2020 and 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit hard. Borders have been closed, tourists have stopped traveling and thousands of jobs have been destroyed or frozen. A mass figure whose impact varies from country to country depending on the weight of the sector. In 2019, tourism will account for about 10% of global GDP.

According to a UNCTAD report published on Wednesday, June 30, 2020, in detail It lost $ 2.4 trillion. Under the influence of vaccination campaigns, the sector is expected to recover in the second half of this year, but the loss could be between $ 1,700 and $ 2,400 billion in 2021 compared to 2019 levels.

One billion less travelers in 2020

Another mass figure allows us to measure the challenges faced by global tourism during the pandemic: the number of international tourist arrivals from January 2020 to December 2020 Decreased by about 1 billion, or 73%. World Tourism Organization’s global tourism barometer forecasts for the first quarter of 2021 88% reduction.

“Today international tourism looks like 30 years ago. In terms of flow, we were like that in the 1980s. “ Describes Zoritsa Uroshevich from UNWTO.

More precisely, the loss, estimated at $ 2.4 trillion for 2020, takes into account the popular multiplication factor. During the period, the decline in global tourism revenues will be $ 948 billion for real GDP loss, which means an increase of two and a half to $ 2.4 trillion.

The tourism multiplier calculates the impact of tourism expenditures on society as a whole in successive waves of income growth from these activities: direct, then indirect, and finally induced effects. For example, a tourist booking a room in a hotel will affect household activities. If he orders breakfast, he will use local farmers to provide the ingredients.

For UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili:

“Tourism is a lifeline for millions of people. Improving immunization is important to protect communities and support the safe resumption of tourism, especially in developing countries that are highly dependent on international tourism to return to work and generate much-needed income. “

The cessation of tourism has led to a 5.5% increase in unemployment

Indeed, tourism can account for 25% of GDP, or a quarter of the wealth produced, in some developing countries. In fact, 10 out of 13 countries, where 80% of the poorest people are concentrated, benefit from the large tourism sector. As of 2019, this sector accounts for 19.7% of GDP in Thailand and 8.5% in France. World Travel Council.

The regions most affected by the coronavirus are Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia. The least affected are North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.

According to the report, in both developed and developing economies, labor accounts for an average of about 30% of expenditures on tourism services. Barriers to entry into the sector, where many women and young workers work, are relatively low.

More specifically, it leads to a decrease in tourism 5.5% increase in unemployment unskilled labor with an average difference of 0-15%, depending on the importance of tourism for the economy. UNWTO believes that 100-120 million direct jobs related to tourism are under threat. Unskilled workers fired due to declining tourist arrivals are less likely to find work elsewhere. notify the report.

Vaccination and its fair distribution are the only way out

The next future of the tourism industry will be vaccinated, the report reminds experts. However, according to UNWTO, we should not expect the number of international tourist arrivals to return to pre-crisis levels by 2023 or even later.

Because currently vaccination campaigns are unequal. Coronavirus vaccination rates vary from country to country, with less than 1% of the population in some countries and more than 60% in others.

According to the report, this asymmetric application of vaccines intensifies the economic shock of tourism in developing countries. This could account for up to 60% of losses in global GDP.

In this sense, the Kovakh mechanism, whose mission is to vaccinate the most disadvantaged countries and depend on the solidarity of richer countries, is seen as a lever to restart the tourism economy.

T The magazine “Special Travel and Tourism” has just been published