Coronavirus & Travel: COVID-19 puts tourism in these countries at-risk

A French family takes a selfie in front of the ancient Parthenon temple in Athens on July 31, 2020. (AP)

Mexico, Spain, Italy, China and Australia are the most vulnerable from the coronavirus pandemic hurting their tourism industries, according to new analysis based on information from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Coronavirus has hit tourism worldwide, with some countries’ economies more at risk than others depending on their reliance on tourism revenue.

Now, a new report has revealed which countries are the most vulnerable – and which are more likely to be able to endure the blow to their tourism sectors.

Using 2019 data about tourism’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world’s largest economies, German company Statista predicted that Mexico, Spain, Italy, China, and Australia are the countries most vulnerable to COVID-19’s impact on tourism this year.

Infographic: Who's Most Vulnerable to COVID-19's Impact on Tourism? | Statista

In Mexico, 15.5 percent of the country’s GDP last year was from the tourism industry. Spain and Italy rank second and third on the chart, with tourism accounting for 14.3 percent and 13 percent of their GDPs, respectively.

Tourism contributed 11.3 percent to China’s GDP in 2019 and 10.8 percent to Australia’s GDP.

Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Brazil round out the top 10 in Statista’s list of major world economies that most rely on tourism revenue.

A woman wearing traditional clothing takes a selfie at the ancient village in Gubei Water Town, a popular tourist spot in Beijing, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (AP)

A woman wearing traditional clothing takes a selfie at the ancient village in Gubei Water Town, a popular tourist spot in Beijing, Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (AP)

The cost of coronavirus: Tourism

The Statista estimates are supported by current developments and reports from the countries themselves, as well as the European Union.

The EU – which includes half of the countries on the Statista list – has estimated its tourism industry is losing around 1 billion euros ($1.17 million) in revenue per month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the European Parliamentary Research Service.

“The situation is particularly difficult in several EU countries that are key tourist destinations, such as Italy, Spain and France,” according to the EU report published in April.

People stand in front of the Spanish Steps, in Rome on July 23, 2020. (AP)

People stand in front of the Spanish Steps, in Rome on July 23, 2020. (AP)

Spain reported on Monday a 97.7 percent drop in tourism for the month of June compared to the same month last year, according to the Spanish National Institute of Statistics.

Italy reportedly lost more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in July due to a lack of foreign tourists, according to a report by the Italian National Confederation of Farmers.

Meanwhile in the US, the tourism industry’s 16.8 million jobs are in jeopardy due to COVID-19, according to the World Economic Forum.

An estimated eight million Americans in the tourism business are already out of work, according to a report from the US Travel Association and Oxford Economics.

A couple takes a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

A couple takes a photograph at the Lincoln Memorial, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP)

Many countries on the list have proposed or enacted policies to support the recuperation of tourism industries, such as the Italian government’s stimulus package that will include assistance for the tourism sector and American senators introducing the Sustaining Tourism Enterprises During the COVID-19 Pandemic (STEP) Act.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has estimated that international tourism will decline 60 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic, with the potential of an 80 percent decline if tourism fails to pick back up until December.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 04 August 2020 KSA 06:46 - GMT 03:46
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