The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Monday announced that the global tourism sector is expected to lose another $ 2 trillion this year due to the effects of the limitations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, which confirmed the economic recovery. “Slow” and “brittle” activity.
This estimate is similar to the losses incurred in 2020, when new sanctions were introduced, especially in Europe, to counter the new wave of the epidemic and the Omicron variant, which was first discovered in South Africa.
The Secretary-General of the OMT Jurab Pololicashvili said that these latest developments were “absolutely unpredictable” and that the tourism sector had not escaped the dangers of causing “enormous financial loss”.
According to the UN agency, which will hold its General Assembly in Madrid from Tuesday to December 3, international tourist arrivals are expected to be “70 to 75% lower” than before this year’s epidemic.
The tourism sector, most affected by the consequences of COVID-19, is expected to suffer further pharyngeal losses, estimated at $ 2,000 billion or 7 1,780 billion, equivalent to 2020.
“The crisis in the tourism sector is historic, but tourism has the potential to recover quickly,” said Jurab Pololikashvili, “but I hope 2022 will be a better year than 2021.”
According to a barometer published by the UN agency, international tourist traffic “picked up during the summer”, indicating growth after the slow start of the year, thanks to “rapid progress of vaccinations”.
Despite everything, “the speed of recovery is unequal depending on the region of the world,” the UNWTO said in a press release, citing “different levels of mobility restrictions, vaccine rates and passenger confidence.”
In the third quarter, some Caribbean islands as well as many southern European and Mediterranean destinations recorded “arrivals (…) or sometimes more” at the 2019 level, emphasizing the firm based in Madrid.
On the other hand, other countries do not actually receive tourists, especially in the Asia and Pacific region, with many states currently banning “unnecessary” travel.
According to the UNWTO, at this stage 46 countries are completely closed to tourists, or one in five destinations, and 55 are partially closed. In contrast, four countries lifted all restrictions: Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.
This situation creates “confusion” and weighs on the resumption of operations, judging by the UN agency calling on countries to “harmonize” their protocols by taking advantage of advances on “vaccines” and new “digital applications”.
Due to uncertainty over the outcome of the epidemic, the UNWTO did not estimate the number of tourists going abroad in 2022 at this stage. But he warned that recovery would be “slow and” fragile.
“Unequal vaccination rates” and “new strains of COVID-19”, including the Omicron variant, will slow this “recovery”, the company underlines, “even alarming the effects of the recent rise in petroleum prices.
In the face of these obstacles, UNWTO concludes that only a “coordinated response” from countries can “restore consumer confidence”, which plans to discuss these issues at its General Assembly in the Spanish capital.
The meeting, which will be attended by representatives of 159 member countries, was originally scheduled to take place in Marrakech, Morocco. But due to the increase in Kovid-19 cases in most countries this country has given up hosting the event.