Everyone knows the tourism industry was hit hard when the pandemic struck, but only now is the true cost of a 75 percent drop in holidaymakers becoming clear.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the industry lost 900 billion dollars in expected income last year and the knock-on effect to the global economy is in the trillions.
A report estimated the total effect is already as much as 2 trillion dollars and unless global tourism recovers faster than currently expected, total losses will likely be as high as 4 trillion dollars.
The losses for 2020 are worse than previously expected, as even the worst-case scenario projected last year has turned out to be optimistic. It is mainly due to bans on international travel still in place in many countries over 15 months after the pandemic started.
There is little hope of a speedy recovery for the travel industry, with passenger numbers dropping even further at the start of 2021.