UNWTO estimates tourism losses of up to $50B

THE World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) first assessment of the Covid-19 outbreak points to a decrease in international arrivals and receipts in 2020.

The global organization that oversees the health of the tourism sector said public health measures need to be implemented in ways that minimize any unnecessary disruption to travel and trade.

The UNWTO said it revised its 2020 prospects for international tourist arrivals to a negative growth of one percent to three percent, translating into an estimated loss of US$30 to US$50 billion in international tourism receipts.

Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, the UNWTO predicted a positive growth of three to four percent for this year.

“This first assessment expects that Asia and the Pacific will be the worst-affected region, with an anticipated fall in arrivals of nine to 12 percent,” the group said.

“Estimates for other world regions are currently premature in view of the rapidly evolving situation. The UNWTO underscores that any estimate must be treated with caution and is likely to be updated,” it added.

Preparing for recovery, the UNWTO calls for financial and political support for recovery measures aimed at tourism and to include support for the sector in the wider recovery plans and actions of affected economies.

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak will be felt across the whole tourism value chain.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili stresses that “small and medium-sized enterprises make up around 80 percent of the tourism sector and are particularly exposed with millions of livelihoods across the world, including within vulnerable communities, relying on tourism.” (PR)