The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a slump in the world economy. The pandemic has forced the people of the globe to switch their plans. All sports and technological events have been cancelled or have changed to be online. There is an overall economic contraction in the global economy as recession started setting in during the pandemic. However the tourism industry was worst-hit due to overwhelming travel restrictions and as well as a decline in demand from travellers and such measures were put into action to control the spread of the virus. There were four broad categories of restrictions, according to the report.
Of a total of 217 destinations,97 destinations implemented total or partial border closures;65 countries and territories suspended flights totally or partially;39 locations enforced border closures aimed at a specific group of destinations;16 countries and territories, or the remaining 7%, implemented other measures such as requiring visitors to quarantine.
For many countries, tourism is the main source of revenue and have suffered losses in millions. The United States has suffered terribly as it ranks first with a revenue loss of about $30.7 million followed by Spain. It is devastating to know but there is a total loss of about $195 billion worldwide in the first four months of 2020. The whole world came to a standstill and all countries could see their economic growth and revenue dropping but are unable to boost it due to the ongoing pandemic.
EFFECT OF DECLINING TOURISM ON JOBS
Tourism supports one in 10 jobs and provides livelihoods to millions in developing and developed economies. The pandemic played a massive impact on the livelihood of the workers in the informal sector due to the huge unemployment. They neither received proper income nor an alternative occupation. Many small businesses which were dependent upon tourism were hit hard and were not able to meet their expenses and hence most of the youth and the workers were laid off by their employers due to their inability to pay them. The travel agents suffered more and more losses when their customers knew that the pandemic isn’t going to end soon and ended up cancelling their plans for travel in the near future.
The pandemic also affected various modes of travel such as air, land and water transportation along with the hospitality industry. As of April 2,2020 British Airways is reportedly poised to suspend 36,000 staffers. Aviation-supported jobs potentially fall by 46 million to 41.7 million. Direct aviation jobs such as jobs at airlines, manufacturers and air traffic management fall by 4.8 million. Cruise lines had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Bookings and cancellations grew as extensive media coverage of ill passengers on quarantined ships hurt the industry’s image. In May 2020, Norwegian Cruise Line announced a quarterly loss of $1.88 billion and warned it may go out of business. Most countries around the world have imposed partial or complete closure of borders along with travel bans.
Millions being unemployed, uncertainty over economic recovery, global fears of continuing COVID-19 spread, the hospitality industry was among the first industries to get affected and would be among the last industries to recover.