World tourism continues to fall deeply

The biggest crisis in the history of the tourism industry has entered its second year and is getting worse, as international arrivals have dropped by 85%.

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According to the latest data of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in the first 5 months of 2021, global destinations continued to record a significant decrease in the number of international visitors. Compared to 2019 before the pandemic, the decrease was 85% (in 2020 this figure is 65%).

As noted, Asia - Pacific is the region with the largest decrease in international arrivals, with a decrease of 95% over the same period in 2019. Europe recorded a decrease of 85%, the Middle East 83%, Africa 81% and the Americas down 72%. In June, the number of destinations that were completely closed to international visitors was 63, compared with 69 in February, of which 33 were in Asia-Pacific countries.

The number of international guests staying overnight at hotels has decreased by 147 million arrivals compared to the same period in 2020 and 460 million arrivals compared to 2019. However, there is a small good news when the number of international visitors of May 2021 decreased by 82% (compared to May 2019), while the figure of April was 86%. This comes as some destinations begin to relax restrictions and visitor confidence starts to pick up slightly.

International tourism continues to be in deep crisis, although there are some signs of slight improvement. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/Globallookpress

UNTWO Secretary-General Zurab Poloikashvili said to accelerate the pace of immunization worldwide, coordinate effective communication on digital tool innovations to facilitate movement in times of travel restrictions will be the key factor, building trust in tourism and restarting tourism.

Growing concern about the Delta variant of Covid-19 has prompted some countries to re-impose restrictive measures. In addition, volatility and lack of clarity on entry requirements could continue to weigh on the resumption of international travel during the northern hemisphere summer. Immunization programs around the world, along with softer restrictions on vaccinated travelers, the use of digital tools such as the EU electronic vaccine passport are all contributing to normalization. gradually improve tourism.

There is good news that domestic tourism is driving a recovery in many destinations, especially those with large populations. Domestic airline seat capacity in China and Russia has already exceeded pre-crisis levels, while domestic travel in the US has also shown positive signs in recent months.
Before the pandemic, Chinese tourists were said to be the biggest contributors to world tourism. Photo: Medical Xpress

International tourism is showing some signs of improvement, although the recovery is still fragile and uneven. Experts say that, as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic, world tourism is unlikely to recover before 2023.


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