Covid could cost global tourism $1 trillion
Revenue from international tourism could reach $800 billion in 2021, a small improvement from 2020 but less than half the $1.7 trillion recorded in 2019, the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said on Monday.
According to the tourism body, the economic contribution of tourism is estimated at $1.9 trillion in 2021 (measured in tourism direct gross domestic product) – well below the pre-pandemic value of $3.5 trillion.
“Despite recent improvements, uneven vaccination rates around the world and new Covid-19 strains could impact the already slow and fragile recovery,” UNWTO said. “The economic strain caused by the pandemic could also weigh on travel demand, aggravated by the recent spike in oil prices and disruption of supply chains.”
The UNWTO expects international tourist arrivals to remain 70% to 75% below 2019 levels in 2021, a similar decline as in 2020.
The global tourism sector already lost $2 trillion in revenue last year due to the pandemic, according to the UNWTO, making it one of the hardest-hit sectors of the crisis.
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