A United Nations (UN) chief has warned that more than 120m jobs are at risk as the global tourism industry has lost around £244bn in the first five months of 2020.
Tourism is the third largest export sectors of the global economy which accounts for 7% of global trade (2019), said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a policy briefing.
Guterres said, “It employs one in every 10 people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more.”
He added, in addition to boosting economies, “it allows people to experience some of the world’s cultural and natural riches and brings people closer to each other, highlighting our common humanity.”
Due to the global pandemic international tourist arrivals fell by more than half with earnings plummeting, which has caused a “major shock” for wealthy developed countries.
Guterres said, for “developing countries, it is an emergency, particularly for many small island developing states and African countries.”
Sandra Carvao, the UN World Tourism Organisation’s chief of market intelligence and competitiveness, said the £244bn lost between January to May is three times that was lost during the global financial crisis.
A policy briefing warns that “export revenues from tourism could fall by £695bn £916bn in 2020,” which “could reduce global GDP by 1.5% to 2.8%.”