The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a United Nations specialist agency and the leading international tourism organization. World Tourism Organization is committed to UN Millennium Development Goals, designed to decrease poverty and encourage sustainable development. It serves as a global forum for political issues and a practical source of tourism know-how.

World Tourism Organization promotes the tourism sector as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development, and sustainable development, and provides sector leadership and supports advancing knowledge and tourism policies around the world.

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Crisis in the Tourism Industry

In the context of a crisis that can threaten the livelihood of up to 120 million people, the travel industry could experience an 80% decline in international arrivals by 2020.

International tourism faces the worst crisis since records started, with about 1.1 billion fewer visitors worldwide in 2020. The magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic is seen in the World Tourism Organization survey, which predicts that foreign arrivals will drop by between 58% and 80% this year.

This is because of extensive limitations on travel and the worldwide closing of airports and borders. The forecast for a 58 percent decline is based on the gradual reopening of international borders at the beginning of July and the relaxation of travel constraints.

The global crisis threatens the living conditions of up to 120 million people – millions more indirectly – directly relying on tourism industry jobs. In contrast, the financial loss in tourism exports amounts to between £736bn and £971bn. The projections are focused on estimates showing a global decline of 22 percent in foreign arrivals for the first quarter of this year. After many countries started the lockdown, arrivals fell by 57 percent alone in March.

Zurab Pololikashvili, World Tourism Organization’s Secretary-General, said, “World faces unprecedented health and economic crisis. In one of the economy’s most labor-intensive sectors, tourism has been struck, and millions of jobs have been at risk.”

The figures reflect WTTC’s estimates that the travel and tourism industry will lose more than 100 million jobs, of which 3/4 in the G-20 nations.

“In just a short time, this has been a tremendous and alarming transition,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC CEO. “Our analysis shows just in April a 25 million increase in job losses in tourism and travel; the pandemic disrupted the entire tourism cycle. Visits and tourism are the backbones of the global economy, with world economies failing meaningfully to recover, with hundreds of millions experiencing tremendous financial and mental harm throughout the year.”