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Overview of UNWTO reports on COVID-19 impact on travel and tourism

Research
15 May 2020
Обзор докладов ЮНВТО о влиянии COVID-19 на перевозки и туризм
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05/15/2020
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Overview of the ‘COVID-19 — a Global Insight on Travel and Tourism Impacts’ report

The report consolidates the data provided by UNWTO information partners for deeper understanding of the impact of the pandemic on global travel and tourism over the last three months.

Experts says that considering the unparalleled and fast-evolving nature of the crisis, it is extremely challenging to estimate the impact of the COVID-19 on international tourism: on 24 March, UNWTO estimated international tourist arrivals would decline by 20% to 30% in 2020, back to the levels of 5 to 7 years ago. This would translate into a loss of 250 to 400 US$ billion in international tourism receipts — almost a third of the US$ 1.5 trillion generated globally.

Air bookings show a massive 80% decline worldwide. Asia and the Pacific (—98%) suffered the biggest drop and started to decline earlier, with the introduction of travel restrictions in China. Air bookings from Europe (—76%), the Americas (—67%), Africa and the Middle East (—65%) all had severe declines in the first quarter of 2020.

According to ADARA, the hotel industry peaked at —75% in terms of bookings in week 12 compared to the same period of last year.

The UNWTO report also includes the net sentiment index from Travelsat which measures the polarity of web social conversations in relation to the sector. The experts note a downward trend in travel sentiment for China, yet for Europe it is more positive, with positive messages exceeding negative starting 6 April.

The original article is available here: https://webunwto.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-03/21_4_Tourism_COVID19_Data_Coalitionpptx.pdf

Overview of the ‘Supporting Jobs and Economies through Travel&Tourism’ report

The report offers a set of recommendations for supporting governments, private sector and international community in their struggle to overcome this unprecedented social and economic challenge — COVID-19.

UNWTO analysts note that on the socio-economic front, a global recession, with the loss of millions of jobs is looming. Travel and tourism is one of the most affected sectors, therefore, according to the organization, it requires urgent support and specific mitigation packages to sustain jobs and ensure capacity in the market.

According to the authors of the report, tourism’s economic and social footprint dwarfs that of any other economic sector:

«Around the world, tourism embodies development opportunities, promotes solidarity and understanding across borders, while domestic tourism also helps foster cohesion within nations. Furthermore, the sector plays a key role in leveraging efforts to preserve and promote natural and cultural heritage and has long been at the forefront of environmental protection.»

Experts’ recommendations are built on the following principles:

1. Supporting travel and tourism means supporting jobs and households;

2. Tourism has demonstrated the ability to recover and stimulate other sectors of economy.

The document contains 23 recommendations divided into three themed blocks.

The original article is available here: https://webunwto.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2020-04/COVID19_Recommendations_English_1.pdf

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