Tue, 28 Sep 2021


The pandemic has severely hit the global tourism industry. According to statistics, the international tourism industry will lose a total of US$1.3 trillion in 2020, and more than 100 million people are facing a crisis of unemployment.


Global tourism industry declines due to pandemic. (Photo via Unsplash)

Madrid, Spain (Merxwire) - According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the international tourism industry lost a total of US$1.3 trillion in 2020, the worst year in the history of tourism. The data shows that the global tourism industry's loss of income in 2020 is more than 11 times the loss after the financial crisis in 2009, and more than 100 million tourism-related occupations are facing the crisis of unemployment.

The total number of global inbound tourists in 2020 decreased by 1 billion compared with 2019, a decrease of about 74%. The Asia and Pacific region decreased by 84%, the largest decline. Africa and the Middle East region decreased by 75%; Europe region decreased by 70%; the Americas decreased by 69%. The global tourism industry has been greatly affected and threatened.

Uneven supply of vaccines and low vaccination rates are some of the main obstacles to the tourism industry's recovery. Although every country is committed to increasing vaccine coverage and hoping to resume normal commercial activities, as the virus evolves, many countries still implement strict travel restrictions, such as quarantine strategies, mandatory inspections, and border closures.

Airlines took a significant hit in 2020. (Photo via Unsplash)

Due to the decline in global tourism and reduced commercial activities, aviation demand has also fallen sharply. According to data released by Southwest Airlines, they lost $3.1 billion in 2020, the company's first full-year loss since 1972. It can be seen that the traffic operating income of major tourist cities has also been affected.

When will the tourism industry recover? Sandra Carvao, Chief of market intelligence at UNWTO, said that it would be a "very diverse recovery," varying by region and by country. Under the impact of the pandemic, the Asia-Pacific region is still one of the most closed regions. These regions Most of the countries have implemented blockade restrictions.

In contrast, more than half of the adults in the United States have completed the vaccination, and the people's willingness to travel has increased, so tourism and business activities have gradually resumed. According to UAL-US, the revenue of domestic travel air tickets increased in May, and people are actively buying air tickets for summer vacation so that the revenue per kilometer unit has exceeded the level of 2019.

The report released by UNWTO a few days ago also showed that with the increase in vaccination speed and the restart of some key tourism markets, the confidence index for the recovery of the global tourism industry is rising. 60% of respondents believe that the global tourism industry will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and will continue to grow.

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