MADRID – The global tourism sector lost about USD460 billion in the first half of 2020 due to the drop in international travel worldwide caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN World Tourism Organization said on Tuesday.
“The massive drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about USD460 billion in export revenues from international tourism. This is around five times the loss in international tourism receipts recorded in 2009 amid the global economic and financial crisis,” the UN agency said.
According to the organization, international tourist arrivals dropped by 65 percent during the first half of the year as countries started to introduce travel restrictions and close borders to contain the infection.
Asia and the Pacific, the first region to feel the impact of Covid-19 on tourism, was the hardest hit, with a 72-percent fall in tourists for the six-month period.
Europe is second, with a decline of 66 percent. The Americas (-55 percent), Africa, and the Middle East (both -57 percent) also suffered.
About 29.3 million cases of the coronavirus infection have so far been registered worldwide. More than 928,000 people died. (TASS)