Global tourism losses swell to $1.3 trillion

The global tourism industry suffered its worst year in history in 2020 as it lost an estimated 1.3 trillion dollars in export revenues due to the severe impact of COVID-19 on travel.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization said international arrivals dropped 74 percent – a decline of one billion arrivals – compared to the year before.

It emphasized export revenue loss is 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis. The decline in tourist arrivals is also larger than the four percent drop in 2009.

It added, “The crisis has put between 100 and 120 million direct tourism jobs at risk, many of them in small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Asia-Pacific posted the largest decline in arrivals at 84 percent or 300 million fewer. This was followed by the Middle East and Africa, both posting a 75 percent decline. Europe recorded a 70 percent decrease in arrivals, while the Americas saw a 69 percent decrease.

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