International tourist arrivals fell by 70% globally in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the previous year, under the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Tourism Organization announced on Tuesday.
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The summer months, usually high tourist season in the northern hemisphere, were catastrophic: -81% of tourists in July over one year, and -79% in August, specifies this United Nations agency based in Madrid.
This fall represents 700 million fewer tourist arrivals, and a loss of $ 730 billion for the global tourism sector, "
more than eight times the loss recorded after the global financial crisis of 2009,
" said the UNWTO in his press release.
The most affected Asia-Pacific region
Asia-Pacific, hit first by the pandemic, is the hardest hit (-79%), followed by Africa and the Middle East (-69%), Europe (-68%) and American continent (-65%).
The fall in summer arrivals in Europe was slightly smaller than elsewhere (-72% in July and -69% in August), but “
this recovery was short-lived as new travel restrictions were reintroduced against the backdrop of rebound in contagions,
”underlines the UNWTO.
For the whole of 2020, the UNWTO expects a decline of 70% over one year in passenger arrivals, and does not expect a rebound before the end of 2021. About 20% of experts questioned by the agency envisage a rebound "
only in 2022
For the UNWTO, this plunge in tourism is to be blamed on the slowness in containing the virus, the lack of a coordinated response from the various countries for the development of common protocols as well as the deterioration of the economic context.
In 2019, global tourism had experienced a 4% growth in arrivals.
France had been the number one destination ahead of Spain and the United States.