Tourism

UNWTO research shows international tourism is down 70 per cent, predicts rebound for end of 2021

New research from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has captured the damage to the travel industry caused by the global pandemic.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer has revealed a 70 per cent fall in international arrivals for the first eight months of 2020.

The organisation has also predicted a rebound in international travel by the end of 2021.

According to the research, international arrivals plunged 81 per cent in July and 79 per cent in August, traditionally the two busiest months of the year and the peak of the Northern Hemisphere summer season.

The drop up to August represents 700 million fewer arrivals compared to the same period in 2019 and translates into a loss of almost a trillion dollars in export revenues from international tourism.

This is more than eight times the loss experienced on the back of the 2009 global economic and financial crisis.

“This unprecedented decline is having dramatic social and economic consequences, and puts millions of jobs and businesses at risk,” warned UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili.

“This underlines the urgent need to safely restart tourism, in a timely and coordinated manner.”

Asia and the Pacific, the first region to suffer from the impact of COVID-19, saw a 79 per cent decrease in arrivals, followed by Africa and the Middle East (both down 69 per cent), Europe (down 68 per cent) and the Americas (down 65 per cent).

Following its gradual reopening of international borders, Europe recorded comparatively smaller declines in July and August (down 72 per cent and 69 per cent respectively). The recovery was short-lived, however, as travel restrictions and advisories were reintroduced following an increase in cases.

On the other side of the spectrum, Asia and the Pacific recorded the largest declines with 96 per cent in both months, reflecting the closure of borders in China and other major destinations in the region.

Demand for travel remains largely subdued due to the ongoing uncertainty about the pandemic and low confidence. Based on the latest trends, UNWTO expects an overall drop close to 70 per cent for the whole of 2020.

However, the UNWTO’s panel of experts has predicted a rebound in international tourism in 2021, mostly in the third quarter of 2021.

However, around 20 per cent of experts suggest the rebound could occur only in 2022.

Travel restrictions are seen as the main barrier standing in the way of the recovery of international tourism, along with slow virus containment and low consumer confidence.

The lack of coordinated response among countries to ensure coordinated restrictions, as well as the deteriorating economic environment, were also identified by experts as important obstacles for recovery.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Steaks on a plane: TikTok prankster appears to cook steak on aircraft toilet

How does one cook a steak using an airline toilet? Well, you’re just going to have to click on the article and find out, aren’t you?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Joyce “optimistic” about recovery as Qantas renews trade partnerships

The national carrier revealed it has signed off on new multi-year agreements with 10 of the top 12 agencies, so if your boss was raging this morning, assume you work for one of the two that missed out.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia responds to the UK’s emergency approval of Pfizer vaccine

While the UK might be getting the jab as early as next week, the Australian government is holding fast to its original roll-out schedule.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Thailand to stay closed until at least March next year

The country’s Tourism Minister has thrown aside any hope for a comeback during the 2020-2021 peak season. Not that Aussie travellers are under the illusion of travelling overseas during the summer anyway.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

IHG opens two Sydney hotels in one day

The hotel giant’s regional VP of development has been run off his feet lately by all the property openings, so much so that the soles of his shoes are now in need of repair.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin launches 12-hour school holiday sales blitz with more than 60,000 cheap fares

The airline has been on an absolute tear since coming out of administration, having increased its flights, gifted free thongs and now offering heaps of cheap fares.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group extends local cruise pause yet again

We haven’t been counting, but we’re pretty sure this is the 1,543,044th time we have reported on an extension of the cruise pause.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

South Australia’s COVID-19 scare scores TravelManagers agent client referrals

South Australia’s recent COVID scare was deja vu for many agents. And, for TravelManagers’ Emma Ross, her hard work has paid off in spades.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Luxury Escapes rejoins AFTA

It appears a trend of online travel companies joining the federation is beginning to emerge.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu launches first-ever tours in Australia and New Zealand

Australia’s China experts are trying their hand at domestic and close-to-home trips with this new collection that promises to showcase local icons.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Dream of 2021: The wonders of Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve await

by Sponsored by Promperu

The year that was may have been one to forget. But, when the time comes, the wonders of South America will be awaiting the arrival of international travellers.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Is Ola about to say adiós to Australia?

Ola’s local boss has left, and it has closed its driver centres “until further notice”. No wonder there’s speculation around the ridesharing company’s future Down Under.

Share

CommentComments