The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could mean a loss of more than $ 4 trillion to the world economy, the UN’s trade and development body (UNCTAD) said on Wednesday , in a report published jointly with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The sector is not expected to fully recover until 2023.
The estimate is based on losses caused by the direct impact of the pandemic on tourism and the domino effect on related sectors, and is worse than previously expected.
Last July, UNCTAD estimated that the international tourism halt would cost the world economy between 1.2 and 3.3 trillion dollars.
The sharp drop in tourist arrivals around the world in 2020 was an economic hit of $ 2.4 trillion, according to the report, and a similar figure is expected this year based on uptake of vaccines.
International tourist arrivals fell by about 1 billion, or 73%, last year, while in the first quarter of 2021 the decline was around 88%, according to the report.
Tourism is expected to recover more quickly in countries with high vaccination rates, such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
However, international tourist arrivals will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or even later due to obstacles such as travel restrictions, slow containment of the virus, poor traveler confidence and poor economic environment. .
Although a rebound in tourism is forecast in the second half of this year, the report predicts a loss of between $ 1.7 trillion and $ 2.4 trillion in 2021, based on simulations that exclude stimulus programs and similar policies.
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