Madrid, 10 January 2022 (TDI): The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the tourism industry. Many economies around the world that are highly dependent on tourism saw massive losses year-over-year as the pandemic continued to ravage the globe.

Many industries have suffered at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic. The global chip shortage is one of the most recognizable fallouts of the virus but it was actually the tourism industry that was affected the most.

According to Zoritsa Urosevic, an observer at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) the tourism industry has gone back 3 decades, as a result of the pandemic. Over the past couple of decades, tourism has grown at a steady rate of about 4% every year, now there is ample supply and jobs but no tourists.

Larger economies like China and France have been able to switch to domestic tourism but for countries like Fiji, for which tourism represents 40-70% of the GDP, this isn’t possible.

100-120 million jobs were jeopardized because of the pandemic. Tourist-heavy countries like Macau and Grenada saw their GDP’s contract by 13% and 56%.

Developing countries in particular were hit hard. They do not have the means to preserve jobs or offer a bailout to small and medium firms that are highly dependent on tourists.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) developed a tourism recovery package. A tool that assesses what needs to be done in a particular country.

Zorista Urosevic also calls for the need for harmonized travel protocols to inform oncoming tourists of the rules and regulations a country may have in place.

She also added that education and information around traveling in these current conditions are very important and that tourists will be back soon.

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

The United Nations World Tourism Organization is a specialized agency that aims to promote sustainable and universally accessible tourism.