The arrival of international tourists could fall between 20% and 30% this year
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals will fall between 20% and 30% in 2020, which will mean a decline in income of between 300,000 and 450,000 million dollars (272,850 and 409,000 million euros ) for the sector due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The UNWTO detailed on Thursday in an analysis of the impact of the coronavirus in the tourism sector that in 2009, after the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals fell by 4%, while the SARS outbreak led to a decline in only or 0.4% in 2003.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has stated that tourism is one of the economic sectors most affected by this crisis, however he stressed that the sector «is united» to support broader recovery efforts by creating employment and the boost to economic well-being worldwide.
Pololikashvili has clarified that, although it is too early to make a full evaluation of the possible impact of Covid-19 on tourism, «it is clear that there are millions of jobs in the sector that are at risk of being lost, since around the 80% of the tourism sector is made up of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
UNWTO has emphasized tourism’s «historical resilience» and its ability to create jobs after crisis situations, while stressing the importance of international cooperation and ensuring that the sector is an essential part of the efforts of Recovery.
Since the beginning of the current crisis, UNWTO has been working closely with the United Nations system as a whole, and especially with the World Health Organization (WHO), to guide the sector, issuing key recommendations to both leaders of the highest level as for private tourists. In this sense, and in order to consolidate and reinforce the response, the Organization has established a World Crisis Committee for Tourism.