The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) expects that COVID-19 will result in a 20% to 30% fall in international tourist arrivals in 2020, compared with 2019.*
Taking into account past market trends, this would mean that between five and seven years’ worth of growth will be lost to COVID-19. Putting this into context, UNWTO notes that in 2009, on the back of the global economic crisis, international tourist arrivals declined by 4%, while the SARS outbreak led to a decline of just 0.4% in 2003.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is among the hardest hit of all economic sectors. However, tourism is also united in helping to address this immense health emergency – our first and utmost priority – while working together to mitigate the impact of the crisis, particularly on employment, and to support the wider recovery efforts through providing jobs and driving economic welfare worldwide.”
For more information, please visit https://www.unwto.org/tourism-covid-19-coronavirus
*UNWTO notes this estimate is based on the latest developments as the global community faces an unprecedented social and economic challenge and should be interpreted with caution in view of the uncertain nature of the current crisis.