The UNWTO Confidence Index has fallen to record lows
As the situation continues to evolve, the specialized agency of the United Nations has provided the first comprehensive view of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
The enormous cost of COVID-19 in international tourism has now become evident, with data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showing that the cost as of May was already three times higher than the 2009 Global Economic Crisis. As the situation continues to evolve, the specialized agency of the United Nations has provided the first comprehensive vision of the impact of the pandemic, both in number of tourists and in loss of income, before the next publication of updated information on travel restrictions in all the world.
The latest edition of the UNWTO UN World Tourism Barometer shows that the almost complete blockade imposed in response to the pandemic caused a 98 percent drop in the number of international tourists in May compared to 2019. The Barometer also shows 56 Annual% of one year in the arrival of tourists between January and May. This translates into a drop of 300 million tourists and $ 320 billion lost in revenue from international tourism, more than three times the loss during the 2009 Global Economic Crisis.
Governments in all regions of the world have a double responsibility: to prioritize public health and at the same time protect jobs and businesses.
Tourism's dramatic decline puts millions of livelihoods at risk
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “These latest data make clear the importance of restarting tourism as soon as it is safe to do so. The dramatic decline in international tourism puts millions of livelihoods at risk, including in developing countries. Governments in all regions of the world have a double responsibility: to prioritize public health and at the same time protect jobs and businesses. They also need to maintain the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that has defined our response to this shared challenge and refrain from making unilateral decisions that can undermine the trust and confidence that we have been working so hard to build. "
Restart in progress but little confidence
At the same time, UNWTO also sees signs of a gradual and cautious change in trend, especially in the northern hemisphere and particularly after the opening of borders through the Schengen area of the European Union on July 1.
Although tourism is slowly returning in some destinations, the UNWTO Confidence Index has fallen to record lows, both for the evaluation of the period January-April 2020 and for the prospects for May to August. Most members of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect international tourism to recover in the second half of 2021, followed by those who expect a rebound in the early part of next year.
The global think tank points to a number of downside risks, such as travel restrictions and border closures still in place in most destinations, major source markets such as the United States and China stand by, security concerns associated with the travel, the resurgence of the virus and risks of new blockages or curfews. Furthermore, concerns about the lack of reliable information and a deteriorating economic environment are indicated as factors weighing on consumer confidence.