UN says global tourism lost $460 billion to pandemic

MADRID – The global tourism sector lost about USD460 billion in the first half of 2020 alone due to the drop in international travel worldwide caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.

“The massive drop in international travel demand over the January-June 2020 period translates to a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about USD460 billion in  revenues from international tourism. This is around five times than the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis,” the UN agency said.

The UNWTO noted that international tourist arrivals dropped by 65 percent during the first half of the year as countries started to introduce travel restrictions and close borders to contain the infection.

Asia and the Pacific, the first region to feel the impact of Covid-19 on tourism, was the hardest hit, with a 72% drop in tourist arrivals in the six-month period. 

Europe is second, with a decline of 66%. The Americas suffered a 55% decline; Africa and the Middle East both recorded 57% drop.

About 30 million cases of Covid-19 infections have been registered worldwide so far. Over 928,000 people have died. (TASS)

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