The United Nations Trade and Development Organization (UNCTAD) has confirmed that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could lead to a loss of more than $4 trillion in the global economy. This was stated in a joint report of UNCTAD and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The report is based on the losses caused by the direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism and the multiplier effect on related sectors, which is worse than previously expected.
According to the report, the sharp decline in the number of tourist arrivals around the world has led to an economic loss of $2.4 trillion, and the number is expected to be similar this year depending on receiving Covid-19 vaccines.
“The world needs a global vaccination effort that protects workers, mitigates negative social impacts and makes strategic decisions regarding tourism, taking into account potential structural changes,” said Isabel Durant, Acting President of UNCTAD.
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, said: “Tourism is a lifeline for millions, promoting vaccination to protect communities and supporting the relaunch of safe tourism is critical to restoring jobs and producing much-needed resources, especially in developing countries, which Many of them are highly dependent on international tourism.”
Recovery and vaccination:
The report said that the number of international tourist arrivals decreased in the first quarter of 2021 by about 88 percent. Developing countries have borne the brunt of the impact of the pandemic on tourism, with the decline in arrivals estimated at between 60 percent and 80 percent.
Tourism is expected to recover faster in countries with high vaccination rates, such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
However, tourist arrivals will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or later, due to barriers such as travel restrictions, slow virus containment, low traveler confidence and a poor economic environment. The report forecasts a loss of between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion in 2021, based on simulations that exclude stimulus programs and similar policies.
The report identifies 3 potential scenarios for the tourism sector this year, the most pessimistic of which reflects a 75% drop in international arrivals. This scenario suggests a drop in global tourism receipts of nearly $950 billion, which would cause a real GDP loss of $2.4 trillion. The second scenario reflects a 63 percent drop in international tourist arrivals.
The third scenario takes into account varying rates of local and regional tourism. This scenario assumes a 75% decrease in tourism in countries with low vaccination rates, and 37% in countries with relatively high vaccination levels, particularly developed countries and some smaller economies.