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Covid-19: Global tourism is expected to lose more than 1.7 trillion euros in 2021

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The global tourism sector is expected to lose another 2 trillion dollars (around 1.775 billion euros) this year under the effects of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Tourism Organization announced on Monday (November 29th) ( OMT), which judges the resumption of activity “Slow” and ” brittle “.

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This estimate, similar to losses in 2020, comes as new restrictions have come into force, particularly in Europe, to deal with a new wave of the epidemic and the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa. South, which is spreading around the world. These latest developments show that “The situation is totally unpredictable” and that the tourism sector is not immune to the risks likely to cause “Enormous damage” UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili told AFP.

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According to the UN agency, which will hold its general assembly in Madrid from Tuesday, November 30 and until December 3, international tourist arrivals should remain this year. “70 to 75% lower” to those of the pre-pandemic.

An unequal recovery

According to the barometer published by the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals have “Rebounded during the summer season”, suggesting an improvement after a sluggish start to the year, thanks to “The rapid progression of vaccinations”. Nevertheless, “The pace of the recovery remains uneven depending on the region of the world”. The World Tourism Organization attributes this heterogeneous situation to “Varying degrees of mobility restrictions, vaccination rates and traveler confidence”.

During the third quarter, some Caribbean islands as well as several southern European and Mediterranean destinations recorded “Arrivals close (…) even sometimes higher” at 2019 levels, underlines the organization. Other countries, on the other hand, have hardly received any tourists, especially in Asia and the Pacific region, where many states still ban travel. “Non-essential”.

Due to the uncertainties hanging over the evolution of the epidemic, the UNWTO does not at this stage give an estimate of the number of tourists who could go abroad in 2022. But it warns that the recovery will be “Slow” and ” brittle “. “Unequal vaccination rates” and “The new strains of Covid-19”, including the Omicron variant, could slow down this ” reprise “, underlines the organization, which also fears the effects “The recent surge in oil prices” on travel. Faced with these obstacles, only one “Coordinated response” countries will “Restore consumer confidence”, concludes the UNWTO.

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