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World Tourism Organization: International tourists are expected to decrease by 610 million this year

Date: 2020-05-26

Although few industries have been spared the impact of health incidents, fewer industries have been hit harder than tourism.


The Zhitong Finance APP was informed that the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recently released an estimate of how the 2020 health event will affect the number of international tourists in three different situations. Unfortunately, even in the most optimistic of these three situations, the impact of health events on tourism is expected to be devastating.

The World Tourism Organization predicts that if the border is opened and the travel restrictions are gradually lifted in early July, the number of international tourists this year will decrease by 58% to 610 million. This will bring the global tourism industry back to 1998, when the number of international travelers was still very small.

If the time for lifting travel restrictions is delayed for another two months, in September, the number of international tourists will drop by 70% to 440 million.

However, if travel restrictions continue until later this year, the situation may become worse.

The organization predicts that if the restrictions are not relaxed until December this year, the number of international tourists will drop by 78% to 320 million. This level last appeared in the mid-1980s, and the tourism industry may have lost more than $ 1 trillion.

Prior to the outbreak of the health incident, the global tourism industry has grown almost continuously for decades. Since 1980, the number of international tourists has surged from 277 million to nearly 1.5 billion in 2019.

As the chart shows, in the past 20 years, the number of tourists has only dropped twice: in 2003, the outbreak of SARS caused a drop of 0.4% in tourists; in 2009, the global financial crisis caused a drop of 4% in international tourists.