ArmInfo. The global tourism industry could lose up to $ 3.3 trillion due to the coronavirus pandemic according to the most pessimistic scenario, which is 4.2 percent of total global gross domestic product (GDP). This is stated in the report "COVID-19 and tourism", released on Wednesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). At the same time, the experts calculated three scenarios depending on the duration of the restrictive measures - 4, 8 and 12 months. In these scenarios, according to experts, tourism industry revenues would fall by 1.17, 2.22 and 3.3 trillion dollars, respectively.
Experts point out that international tourism is almost completely paralyzed, and domestic tourism is limited by the isolation conditions imposed in many countries. Although some destinations began to open up, many citizens are afraid of international travel or cannot afford it because of the economic crisis. According to an analysis of analysts, developing countries will be seriously affected by losses in the tourism sector. According to experts, the most significant losses will be in Jamaica and Thailand, whose losses will reach 11% and 9% of GDP, respectively, in the most optimistic scenario, while Kenya, Egypt and Malaysia may lose more than 3% of their GDP.
Also named are the developed countries that will suffer the biggest losses under all three scenarios: these are the United States ($ 187 billion over four months) and China ($ 105 billion). The US pessimistic loss could reach $ 538 billion, or 3 percent of national GDP. Thailand and France could lose about $ 47 billion each.
Experts in a report that covers 65 individual countries and regions note that tourism is the backbone of many economies and a lifeline for millions of people around the world. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed the entire tourism industry and caused economic problems in many countries. In this context, the organization called on governments to strengthen the social protection of tourism industry workers in countries severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as provide assistance to tourism companies facing bankruptcy risks, such as hotels and airlines. The report said that one approach to alleviating the financial burden is loans or grants with low interest rates.
Meanwhile, the UN report, prepared by the World Tourism Organization in May, indicates that the number of tourists in the world in 2020 can be reduced by 60-80 percent compared to the previous year. According to the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia, 1.894 million tourists visited Armenia in 2019, which is 14.7% more than in 2018 (against an increase of 10.5% a year earlier). And 1.868 million people left Armenia for tourism purposes, and this is 15.1% higher than in 2018 (against an increase of 9.5% a year earlier). The dynamics of the data in a three-year context indicates that in 2018-2019 a high positive balance of tourist flow was recorded, while in 2016 the balance was negative - there were more tourists leaving Armenia for tourist trips than tourists who visited Armenia. But in 2020, the emerging pandemic of the coronavirus and the restrictive measures taken, including in terms of international air, rail and bus services, they negatively affected the world tourism sector and related segments. Specifically for Armenia, the statistical data for the first quarter of 2020 indicates that the number of visitors decreased by 14.6% per annum to 311,264 people, and those who departed decreased by 13.3% to 275,716, while in 2019 In the same period, almost the same increase in entries and exits was recorded - 5.2% and 5.7%, respectively. As a result, the positive balance of tourist flow decreased in the first quarter of 2020 by 23.7% per annum, against the growth of 2.1% a year earlier.
It should be noted that since March 16, as part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, a state of emergency has been introduced, which will last until July 13 inclusive. In the first month of the emergency, a temporary ban was imposed on many types of activities (including restaurants, cafes, bars, casinos, hotels, canteens, retail facilities and industries not related to food and medical products). As part of the ban, public transport (including the metro) was suspended and the movement of other vehicles (except for taxis) was restricted, and international aviation, rail and bus services were limited. The ban was partially lifted in the second half of April, then from May 4 the list of permitted types of economic activities was further expanded to ensure the vital functions of the economy, and from May 18 the ban was lifted almost completely. From the same day, public transport (including the metro) and many public catering facilities and services began to operate, but so far the activities of international air, rail, and bus services have been limited.