Sunday, October 17, 2021

COVID tourism impact could top 4 trillion Dollar: UN report

The economic impact from the plunge in tourism since the pandemic emerged last year could top 4 trillion Dollar, a UN report said today.

The joint report by the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) found that the lack of widespread vaccination in developing countries was leading to mounting economic losses.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a statement that tourism is a lifeline for millions, and advancing vaccination to protect communities and support tourism’s safe restart is critical to the recovery of jobs and generation of much-needed resources.

He noted that many developing countries are highly dependent on international tourism.

Pandemic punched a $2.4 trillion hole in the tourism and related sectors last year, and the report warns a similar loss may occur this year depending on the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

With Covid-19 vaccination rates wildly uneven — with some countries having inoculated less than one percent of their population while others have topped 60 percent — will see the economic damage concentrated in those countries with low vaccination rates.

The report found the asymmetric roll-out of vaccines magnifies the economic blow tourism has suffered in developing countries, as they could account for up to 60 percent of the global GDP losses.

The 63-75 percent drop in international tourism this year from 2019 levels forecast by UNCTAD is expected to cause between $1.7 and $2.4 trillion euros in lost economic activity.

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