World Tourism Organization Outlines Two Scenarios for 2021

UNWTOVisitorArrivals

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(31 Mar 2021)
The devastating impact of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic
on global tourism has carried on into 2021, with new data showing
an 87% fall in international tourist arrivals in January 2021 when
compared to 2020.

The outlook for the rest of the year remains
cautious as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continues to
call for stronger coordination on travel protocols between
countries to ensure the safe restart of tourism and avoid another
year of massive losses for the sector.

According to the latest edition of the UNWTO World
Tourism Barometer, all world regions continued to experience large
drops in tourist arrivals in the first month of the year.
Mandatory testing, quarantines, and in some cases the complete
closure of borders, have all hindered the resumption of
international travel.


The devastating impact of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic on global tourism has carried on into 2021, with new data showing an 87% fall in international tourist arrivals in January 2021 when compared to 2020. Asia and the Pacific (-96%), the region which continues to have the highest level of travel restrictions in place, recorded the largest decrease in international arrivals in January. Click to enlarge.

Asia and the Pacific (-96%), the region which
continues to have the highest level of travel restrictions in
place, recorded the largest decrease in international arrivals in
January.

Europe and Africa both saw a decline of 85% in
arrivals, while the Middle East recorded a drop of 84%.

International arrivals in the Americas decreased by 79% in
January, following somewhat better results in the last quarter of
the year.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, said,
“2020 was the worst year on record for tourism. The international
community needs to take strong and urgent action to ensure a
brighter 2021. Many millions of livelihoods and businesses are
depending on it. Improved coordination between countries and
harmonized travel and health protocols are essential to restore
confidence in tourism and allow international travel to resume
safely ahead of the peak summer season in the northern
hemisphere.”

Based on current trends, the UNWTO has said that
it expects
international tourist arrivals to be down about 85% in the first
quarter of 2021 over the same period of 2019. This would represent
a loss of some 260 million international arrivals when compared to
pre-pandemic levels

Looking ahead, UNWTO has outlined two
scenarios for 2021, which consider a possible rebound in
international travel in the second half of the year. They are
based on a number of factors, most notably a major lifting of
travel restrictions, the success of vaccination programmes or the
introduction of harmonized protocols such as the Digital Green
Certificate planned by the European Commission.

The first scenario points to a rebound in July,
which would result in a 65% increase in international arrivals for
the year 2021 compared to the historic lows of 2020. In this case,
arrivals would still be 55% below the levels recorded in 2019.

The
second scenario considers a potential rebound in September,
leading to a 30% increase in arrivals compared to last year.
Still, this would be 67% below the levels of 2019.

UNWTO has outlined two scenarios for 2021, which consider a possible rebound in international travel in the second half of the year.

See also:
IATA Travel Pass – Exclusive
Video Interview with Vinoop Goel

Editor’s note:
As the above video interview was conducted over the internet, I
would like to apologise that the audio and visual quality are not
up to the same HD/UHD quality that it normally would be. Hopefully it won’t be too
long until we are once again conducting exclusive video interviews
in person, but for now we have to make do with what we have. Thank
you.

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