According to a UN analysis released on Wednesday, the economic impact of the tourism slump since the pandemic began last year might be as high as $4 trillion.
According to a joint report by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the lack of widespread immunization in underdeveloped nations is causing significant economic losses.
For much of last year, worldwide aviation travel was nearly halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, as many governments refused to allow non-essential travel.
Last year, this caused a $2.4 trillion hole in the tourism and allied sectors, and the research warns that a similar loss could happen this year, depending on how COVID-19 vaccines are distributed.
Because COVID-19 immunization rates are so disparate — some nations have vaccinated less than 1% of their population while others have vaccinated more than 60% — the economic damage will be focused on the countries with low vaccination rates.
According to the report, the unequal roll-out of vaccinations exacerbates the economic blow to developing countries from tourism, which might account for up to 60% of global GDP losses.
It was highlighted that they had already experienced the largest declines in tourist arrivals last year, estimated to be between 60% and 80%. Although nations with high vaccination rates, such as the United States, are projected to recover sooner, the UNWTO does not expect international tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023 at the earliest.
The UNCTAD forecasted a 63-75 percent reduction in foreign travel this year compared to 2019 levels, resulting in a loss of between $1.7 and $2.4 trillion euros in economic activity.