COVID-19 Epidemic Takes its Toll on European Tourism

China is among the fastest-growing sources of European tourism revenue over the past few decades. In 2018, Chinese tourists spent a total of 277 billion dollars in Europe.

European tourism has been greatly impacted by the novel coronavirus epidemic. Around 80 percent of bookings had been canceled in Rome and Sicily for March. Venice, which used to be known for its crushing crowds of tourists, has seen visitor numbers plunge in recent weeks as evidenced by a near-empty St. Mark’s Square and gondoliers sitting and waiting for customers. 

According to the European Travel Commission, as much as 13 percent of the Italian gross domestic product is derived from tourism. Italy usually attracts more than 5.6 million American and 3.5 million Chinese tourists each year. Thanks to COVID-19, the country will not see those same number of tourists walking its historic streets or eating pasta and gelato in 2020.

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