International Tourism braces for a 60-80% decline in 2020

International Tourism

The Tourism and Hospitality sector seems to be one of the worst-hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And the effect is here to stay for a while. As per the global international agency, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International tourism could decline by 60-80 percent in 2020. This translates into a revenue loss of USD 910 billion to USD 1.2 trillion and places millions of livelihoods at risk.

As per the data available, the pandemic has already caused a 22 percent fall in international tourist arrivals during the first quarter of 2020. Although Asia and the Pacific show the highest impact in relative and absolute terms (a decline of 33 million arrivals), the impact in Europe, though lower in percentage, is quite high in volume (-22 million), the agency said. Prospects for the year have been steadily declining with current scenarios pointing to possible declines in arrivals of 58 percent to 78 percent for the year.

The agency has given three scenarios for 2020 based on possible dates for the gradual opening up of international borders. According to scenario 1, there could be a decline of 58 percent in arrivals based on the gradual opening of international borders and easing of travel restrictions in early July. Scenario 2 could see a 70 percent decline if these are eased in early September. Scenario 3 predicts a 78 percent decline if restrictions are eased only in early December. Domestic demand is expected to recover faster than international demand, according to the UNWTO Panel of Experts survey. The majority expects to see signs of recovery by the final quarter of 2020 but mostly in 2021.

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