Tourism industry is one of the worst affected industries amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis and resulting lockdown and restrictions on movement. Based on a study, the number of international tourist arrivals could plunge by 60 to 80% in 2020 due to the coronavirus, UN body the World Tourism Organization said Thursday, revising its previous forecast sharply lower. Due to widespread travel restrictions, closure of airports and national borders to curb the spread of the virus had plunged international tourism into its worst crisis since records began in 1950, the UN body said in a statement.
Tourist arrivals fell by 22 percent in the first three months of the year, and by 57 percent in March alone, with Asia and Europe suffering the biggest declines, according to the Madrid-based organisation. The industry has been hit badly due to the limited travel facilities and rising fears among the people. Covid-19 has bought the whole world to a standstill. Millions of people employed in tourism industry, bearing the brunt of it, will be rendered unemployed.
According to the World Tourism Organization, the number of international tourist arrivals will fall by 60 to 80 percent in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier WTO had predicted a fall in the number of people by 20 to 30 percent. After reviewing the previous report and taking the present situation into consideration, the number is expected to plunge more.
Tourism is the industry which is a major job creator for a number of people. Along with it , the sector serves as a backbone to many other sectors as different services are dependent on the sector. The deterioration in the growth of the sector will affect a number of other sectors too which are already in a weak position.
Almost all global destinations have imposed travel restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. Coordinated and strong mitigation plans will be required to revive the growth of the sector and to ensure its efficient working. Financial liquidity needs to be infused in the sector to help in its revival and save millions of people from getting unemployed.
Adding to the crises UN body also hinted that the signs of recovery by the final quarter of 2020 but mostly in 2021, with Asia and the Pacific expected to rebound first. Domestic demand is expected to recover faster than international demand, it added. Based on previous crises, leisure travel is expected to recover quicker, particularly travel for visiting friends and relatives, than business travel, it added.
Companies have also restricted employees’ travel while major trade shows have been axed as a result of the pandemic.