The coronavirus has hit the global tourism sector adversely. According to the UN, the novel coronavirus crisis and the subsequent drop in the number of tourists due to it has cost the global tourism sector $460 billion in the first six months of 2020
Madrid-based World Tourism Organization (WTO) said that, “Revenue lost between January and June amounted to “around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis”.
The organization remarked that International tourist arrivals fell by 440 million (65 percent) during the period with Asia, one of the first regions to experience the impact of COVID-19 witnessing the sharpest decline.
WTO said that the decline in the tourism sector is mainly due to, countries around the world closing international borders and imposing travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.
As tourism slowly returns at certain destinations, the UN body has warned that “declining travel demand and consumer confidence” will continue to affect the sector throughout the year while predicting that the arrival of international tourists will also see a decline by 70 percent in 2020.
In 2019, international tourism arrivals increased by four percent to 1.5 billion, with France becoming the most visited country in the world, followed by Spain and the USA.
The last time an annual decrease of such magnitude was recorded for international tourist arrivals was in 2009 when the global economic crisis led to a 4 percent drop. The UN body observes that return of tourist arrivals to touch 2019 levels could take two to four years.