Poor countries could lose $1.4 trillion as tourism collapses this year due to the pandemic. A CNN Business report showed that this is the reason for the inequality in vaccines.
The collapse of international tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic could cost the global economy as much as $2.4 trillion this year, as the uneven distribution of vaccines devastates developing countries that rely heavily on foreign visitors.
In a report released on Wednesday, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that even as more of the world’s population is vaccinated, the pandemic’s economic impact on tourism is proving to be more severe than its worst forecast 12 months ago.
The study highlights that the vaccine gap will be costly for the global economy, with tourism losses this year amounting to between $1.7 trillion and $2.4 trillion, despite the expected recovery in travel in countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Developing economies could account for up to 60% of global GDP losses, or up to $1.4 trillion this year, according to the report, released jointly with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (WTO).
The decline in tourism could cost the global economy as much as $4.8 trillion in 2020 and 2021, causing $2.9 trillion in injury to the poorest countries.
The analysis takes into account losses incurred by industries that supply the tourism sector with food, beverages, accommodation and transportation, but does not reflect economic stimulus packages that could mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
“It is developing countries that suffer the most from the impact of the pandemic on tourism,” UNCTAD said in a statement.
He added, “They experienced the largest drop in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.
Despite the easing of roadblocks and the acceleration of travel in some parts of the world, the tourism crisis is far from over.
Half of the experts interviewed by the WTO see international tourism returning to 2019 levels only in 2024 or later.
Only 10% of the world’s population is fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.
Even in countries with high vaccination rates, such as the UK, travel restrictions remain in place amid an increase in cases caused by the highly contagious delta variant. For countries with far fewer people vaccinated – the poorer countries – the outlook is much worse.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) expects a 75% drop in tourist arrivals to countries with low vaccination rates this year, compared to a 37% drop in countries where more than 50% of the population has been vaccinated.
Who will suffer the most from reduced tourism?
Countries such as Turkey, Ecuador, South Africa, and islands such as the Maldives and Saint Lucia will suffer the most impact. large portions of
Asia and Oceania were also hardest hit, while North America, Western Europe and the Caribbean were the least affected, according to the report.
Overall, the decline in tourism is expected to lead to a 5.5% increase in unemployment for unskilled workers, on average. The World Trade Organization estimates that between 100 million and 120 million direct jobs in tourism are at risk, many of which belong to youth, women and those working in the informal sector.
“Tourism is a lifeline for millions, and promoting vaccination to protect communities and support a safe resumption of tourism is critical to restoring jobs and generating much-needed resources, especially in developing countries,” WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a statement.
According to the report, the main obstacle to the recovery of tourism is the uneven availability of vaccines and the low number of vaccines in many countries. Travel restrictions, slow virus containment, traveler confidence, and a poor economic environment are also hindrances.
To get people to travel again, the report said countries should better coordinate travel requirements and facilitate travel, for example by agreeing common standards for cheap and reliable coronavirus testing.
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