World Tourism Organization: Global Economy Could Lose Over $4 Trillion Due to Impacts of Covid-19 on Tourism

(Phnom Penh): In accordance with a common report, jointly made by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Conference Agency on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to be published on 30 June 2021, presented that the world economy could lose over $4 trillion due to impacts of Covid-19 on tourism.

The two international institutions expressed the sharp decline of international tourism is derived from the crisis of virus corona Covid-19, which can make the world’s gross domestic product lose to over $4 trillion for 2020 and 2021, of which include the impacts on direct tourism and tourism related – fields. On the last 2020, the volume of this impact was about $2. 4 trillion, and based on estimation, the year of 2021 will be seen the similar lose. The report also presented that the recovery of tourism is depended on the increasing in vaccination in the world.

Mrs. Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD, stated that “the world needs to speed up its effort in globally vaccination, which will contribute to preventing those serving and addressing negative impacts on the societies and making strategic decision in tourism sector through the consideration on structural and good potential transformation”.Mr. Zurab Pololikashivili, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), also illustrated about the need to restart the international tourism, citing that “tourism is the lives of millions of people. The increasing in vaccination to defend the communities and to support the restarting of a safe tourism is really necessary in recreating employments, especially in the developing countries which have mostly depended on the tourism sector”.

There is another matter the two international institutions raised is the developing countries are in victim for unequal vaccine. The rate of vaccination is not equal in the some countries by some countries got 1 percent lower vaccination, and some other got up to 60% lower vaccines of their total population. The report expressed that tourism could rapidly recover in the countries with high level – vaccination, such as French, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

In the process of restarting, the experts hope that the number of international tourists will reach at point before the crisis (2019) in 2023 or longer. The main obstacle is the restriction on travel, the slow in curbing the transmission, the trust of travelers and poor economic environment. The two organizations stressed that in 2021, the loss could be up to $1.8 trillion. As the recovery of tourism can start in the second semester of 2021, the report presented that the loss in 2021 can be between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion, compared to pre –crisis levels in 2019.

The report presented three scenarios released by the World Tourism Organization and UNCTAD:

• Scenario 1: 2021 may decrease by 75%, compared to 2019 level

• Scenario 2: 2021 may decrease by 63%, compared to 2019 level

.• Scenario 3: 2021 is likely to decrease by 75% in low-vaccination countries, and 37% in high-vaccination countries, especially in developed and small economic countries.

It is also raised about the loss of employments in countries. The report illustrated the decline of tourism made the increase in 5.5% average unemployment for unskilled workers. The growth rate of unemployment is based on the volume of tourism in national economy of the countries – unemployment is likely to be changed between 0% and 15%. Before crisis, the number of employment in tourism services accounted for 30% both in the developed countries and developing countries.

These problems were the immense loss beyond expectation by 2020, the world tourism got down 73%, about 1, 000 million, compared to pre-crisis level in 2019. During the first quarter of 2021, world tourism continued to decline by 88%, compared to the same period in 2019. By 2020, developing countries had experienced a sharp decline of between 60% and 80%. The worst affected areas are Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, North Africa and South Asia. The least affected areas are North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean.