Covid-19: Global Tourism in Free Fall, More Than 100 Million Jobs Threatened

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The Covid-19 pandemic has cost global tourism $ 320 billion since January. In recent days, several countries have taken new restrictive measures.

The Covid-19 pandemic has cost global tourism $ 320 billion since January. In recent days, several countries have taken new restrictive measures.

Travel restrictions in Europe, a narrowed “contact bubble” in Belgium, beaches closed for part of the day in France, restricted travel in Morocco: many countries are tightening their health measures in an attempt to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

Faced with an epidemic that seemed to have been brought under control thanks to the establishment of strict containments in the spring, fears are keen of seeing a second wave appear with potentially disastrous economic and societal challenges.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimated Tuesday that the pandemic had already cost, from January to May, 320 billion dollars to the tourism sector.

Read also: United Kingdom: a quarantine soon imposed on French and German travellers?

300 million fewer tourists

During this period, the number of international tourists fell by 56% compared to the same period in 2019, which represents 300 million fewer visitors.

The UNWTO expects a drop of 60 to 80% in the number of international tourists for the year 2020, with losses that could reach a total of 910 to 1200 billion dollars and “the endangering of 100 to 120 million jobs direct in tourism ”.

A member of health care staff performs a coronavirus screening test in Quiberon on July 27, 2020
A member of health care staff performs a coronavirus screening test in Quiberon on July 27, 2020 (© AFP / Fred TANNEAU)

Air traffic will return to its best level in 2024

For its part, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) estimated that world air traffic would not return to its pre-crisis level before 2024, due in particular to uncertainties about the openings of borders which weigh on international travel. .

Among the latest measures taken in Spain: in the Madrid region, the obligation to wear a mask has been reinforced, and gatherings have been limited to ten people. “The key now is not to have to confine ourselves again,” said Madrid region president Isabel Diaz Ayuso.

The disease has already killed 654,477, according to the latest report established by AFP on Tuesday 28th July 2020. The United States remains the most bereaved country (148,056 deaths) ahead of Brazil (87,618), the United Kingdom (45,759), Mexico (44,022) and Italy (35,112).

“The virus loves all seasons”

Finally, the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was “concerned” about the progression of the disease in Africa. The peak of the pandemic is coming on this continent, told AFP Mary Stephens, expert of the WHO regional office in Africa.

The WHO also said the coronavirus was arguably not seasonal, unlike other respiratory viruses. This virus “loves all seasons”, commented an expert from the Organization.

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