Global Tourism Loses $320bn Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, UN



The global tourism industry has experienced a downfall due to coronavirus pandemic.

The United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said that a loss of $320bn in exports has been witnessed in the first five months of the year and more than 120 million jobs at risk.

In a video address, the Secretary-General said that the global health crisis has caused international tourist arrivals to decrease by more than half. This decrease has devastated the world’s economies.

Tourism is the third-largest export sector of the global economy. Guterres said that tourism employs one in every 10 people worldwide. It accounted for 7 percent of global trade.

He said, “That is why it has been so painful to see how tourism has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Guterres said the crisis has been a “major shock” for wealthier developed nations “but for developing countries, it is an emergency, particularly for many small islands developing states and African countries.”

UN mentions that tourism brings more than 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in some countries.

Sandra Carvao, the UN World Tourism Organization’s chief of market intelligence and competitiveness, said the $320bn in lost exports from January through May is three times what was lost during 2009 at the height of the last global financial crisis.

And according to the policy briefing, “export revenues from tourism could fall by $910bn to $1.2 trillion in 2020” and that “could reduce global GDP by 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent.”

Guterres said tourism “is also a key pillar for the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.”

“The fall in revenues has led to increased poaching and habitat destruction in and around protected areas,” the secretary-general said, “and the closure of many World Heritage sites has deprived communities of vital livelihoods.”

UN chief said called for the tourism sector to be rebuilt in a way that is safe for host communities, workers, and visitors, and is also “equitable and climate-friendly”.

He requested countries to alleviate the socio-economic effects, maximize the use of technology, and promote sustainability and green growth to aid recovery.


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