Speedy COVID-19 vaccination might not guarantee the future for international tourism, UN study reveals. Additionally, the UN forecasts a full rebound in international tourism by 2023.
UN predicts the international tourism arrivals to freeze again this year. Though, the UN sees some exceptions in some Western markets.
Tourism level is on a concerning level
Noted from Reuters, the study from the UN mentioned COVID-19 vaccination and certificates as the key foreign tourism recovery. Foreign tourism itself is, to people living in several parts of the world, a lifeline that a lot of people rely upon.
However, international arrivals for 2020 alone plunged by 73% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019. The estimated loss aggregated from tourism and related sectors, according to UNCTAD’s report and the UN‘s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reached $2.4 trillion. This became one of the biggest concerns of plummeting tourism.
The situation for 2021 might still be bleak. Through a news conference, Ralf Peters of UNCTAD’s trade analysis branch said, “the outlook for this year doesn’t look much better,” Reuters quotes.
Peters further elaborated that partial recovery in the west is still possible due to speedy vaccinations. “There is an expectation of a certain recovery in the second half of the year, at least for North America and Europe to a certain extent,” he said.
The report laid out several forecasts for international tourism in 2021. First, the UN predicts the foreign tourist arrivals to fall between 63% and 75% from pre-pandemic levels This will result in around $1.7 trillion to $2.4 trillion of losses.
“In international tourism we are at levels of 30 years ago, so basically we are in the ’80s … Many livelihoods are really at threat,” said Zoritsa Urosevic, a representative for Geneva of the Madrid-based UNWTO.
“What we are looking at in the long run is…meeting the 2019 numbers after 2023,” she added.
“Diverse recovery” in international tourism
UNWTO’ chief of market intelligence, Sandra Carvao, said that the recovery in tourism would be “very diverse”. This means the recovery will differ according to the regions and countries.
The European Union’s digital COVID-19 certificate, for example, is a good attempt to push recovery in tourism. However, the certificate is by far the only regional harmonisation to date.
In relation to travel corridors, Carvao added, “We see for example Asia-Pacific is still one of the most closed regions in the world at this moment – most of the borders in the countries are either totally closed or with significant restrictions.”