UNWTO clarifies 2020: the worst year in the history of world tourism.

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In 2020, global tourism recorded the weakest year in history, with international arrivals falling by 74%, according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

Destinations around the world have faced one billion fewer international arrivals in 2020 than in the previous year, due to the unprecedented drop in demand, but also due to travel restrictions imposed globally.

According to the most recent World Tourism Barometer, the collapse of international travel represents an estimated loss of 1.3 trillion dollars, about 11 times the loss recorded during the global economic crisis of 2009. The crisis has endangered between 100 and 120 million jobs in the tourism industry, many of them in small and medium enterprises.

The crisis has jeopardized more than 100 million jobs.

Due to the evolution of the pandemic, many countries are now reintroducing stricter travel restrictions. These include mandatory testing and quarantine and, in some cases, the complete closure of borders, thus blocking the resumption of international travel.

At the same time, the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to help restore tourist confidence, help reduce travel restrictions and slowly normalize travel in 2021.

The most recent survey of the expert group of OMT shows a mixed outlook for 2021. Nearly half of respondents (45%) expected a better outlook for 2021 compared to 2020, while 25% expect a similar performance and 30% expect a worsening of results in 2021.

The prospect of a return in 2021 seems to have worsened. 50% of respondents believe that a return will occur in 2022 at the earliest, and the remaining 50% still predict a potential return in 2021. As tourism resumes, UNWTO experts predict a growing demand for tourism activities. outdoor or nature-based tourism, through domestic tourism and slow travel experiences, gaining increasing interest.

The extended UNWTO scenarios for 2021-2024 indicate that it could take between 2.5 and 4 years for international tourism to return to 2019 levels.

All regions of the world have been affected.

Asia and the Pacific was the first region to be impacted by the pandemic and the one with the highest level of travel restrictions and currently has the largest drop in arrivals in 2020, at 84% - the equivalent of about 300 million of arrivals. The Middle East and Africa fell by 75%.

Europe saw a 70% drop in arrivals, despite a small, short-lived recovery in the summer of 2020. The region suffered the biggest drop, with more than 500 million fewer international tourists in 2020. America saw a drop in arrivals. 69% decrease in international arrivals, after slightly better results in the last quarter of 2020.

We remind you that and International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded that the year 2020 was a disaster for global aviation.

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