Global tourism revenues to fall by $500 bln in 2020, says UNWTO

Global tourism revenues to fall by $500 bln in 2020, says UNWTO
  • Clock-gray 01:19
  • calendar-gray 24 April 2020

Global tourism revenues may drop by $500 bln this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in an interview with TASS, APA reports.

"The crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic has sharply and unexpectedly stopped" the trend of a stable increase in the number of foreign tourists in the world, he said. In 2019, the number of travelers reached 1.5 bln people, whereas in 2020 it "may drop by 30%," Pololikashvili said. "This may result in the tourism revenues decrease of $500 bln and millions of lost jobs," he noted.

"The consequences of the crisis may still be mitigated if governments take firm and decisive steps to protect jobs in the tourism sector and make the sector prior in efforts on economic recovery," Secretary-General said, adding that "96% of countries have imposed full or partial travelling restrictions since the start of the pandemic, according to the Organization’s research."

"Concurrently we have to acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic will hit small business. In the travel sector 80% of companies are small and medium-sized enterprises," he said. "That puts at threat means of existence of certain persons and their families. Providing help to tourism to revive growth is the target of our economy, which will have a wider effect and favorably influence whole communities and societies and protect means of living," Pololikashvili emphasized.

 
 

In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the globe. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

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